John Feltz, director of the Transport Workers Union train division — which represents workers at Amtrak, seven regional passenger rail lines, and three major freight rail lines — says workers are very concerned about potentially contracting coronavirus or losing their jobs.
“We are all very concerned for ourselves and our families with the virus that’s going on,” he said. “They are very concerned and yet they do go to work every day.”
The concern is particularly strong among coach cleaners who do the disinfecting of trains. He said they’ve been given protective gear like gloves, “but you never know what could happen at any time.”
He said rail companies may look to labor for cost savings. “If they feel they’re losing money, the first place they cut on is labor.”