« PrécédentContinuer »
Mr. MENK. I am not an authority on all railroads but I think it is more or less general that we are adopting these practices.
Mr. SKUBITZ. Thank you. Mr. MACDONALD. Will the gentleman yield? Mr. SKUBITZ. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead. Mr. MACDONALD. Sir, I don't really understand your function. Are you representing all the railroads or just your own railroad? Mr. MENK. I am a witness for the AAR opposing this bill. Mr. MACDONALD. I understand your opposing this bill but on behalf of your own railroad or all railroads?
Mr. MENK. I am a spokesman for the members of the AAR.
Mr. MACDONALD. But some of the statistics you use you take from your own railroad, the concrete example when you talk about the dropoff in maintenance people as being relatively small; and yet if you were representing the Boston & Maine or the New York, New Haven & Hartford you couldn't make that statement because it is just not so.
Mr. MENK. The statistics I quoted, sir, about maintenance people were industry statistics.
We also had a statistical witness that had a lot of this information but what I quoted for this record today were industry statistics with respect to maintenance of way employees for a 10-year period.
Mr. MACDONALD. Thank you, sir.
Mr. MENK. I have that.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't know but it increased from 1961 from 130 to 166 last year.
The gentleman's time has expired.
you want to submit that for the record you may a little later.
In the class of accidents submitted by the Interstate Commerce Commission number 130 to 134, train accidents had increased from 1961, 158 to 214.
In 1961 of all of these there were 2,127 according to this bulletin and in 1966 it increased to 2,684 with a steady increase each year with the exception of 1965 when it went down about 100, but it jumped 300 last year and this includes the grade crossings and all, the people killed there.
I want to submit this for the record. I believe it is a part of the record anyhow in this book.
Mr. MOLONEY. May I ask one question, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. MOLONEY. Does that 2,600-some-odd figure include the 1,700some odd at grade crossings? In other words, out of the 2,600 there were about 1,800 on the grade crossings.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir.
Another thing I wanted to bring to mind was the fact of what Mr. Keith brought up about the administration's questioning and its report.
The administration sent this bill up here. We have the bill before us and it's up to the committee to make the bill the best bill we can have.
I don't think that many of the things that they wanted will be in the bill when it comes out. I believe it is before us and we must act on it one way or another.
I was wondering why the railroad association group and the labor group and the administration hadn't gotten together. They knew this. This has been coming for years. I wonder why someone didn't try to get together and present a bill that would express the views of all three groups. That is the thing that amazes me.
I think it is about the one group in the land today that won't get together and talk a little bit and work together and the reason it is here is because you didn't do it and the Congress has to do something about it.
That is the only reason under the sun. It has just gotten to that point when people get obstinate that some people who are elected in the Nation must look out for the public interest.
Mr. MOLONEY. Mr. Chairman, may I comment on that?
Mr. MOLONEY. As I stated, when they first approached us we in substance took the same position that Mr. O'Connell took in his letter to Mr. Lang. Mr. O'Connell had these statistics that the Department of Transportation has, for instance, with respect to derailments. He mentioned that in his letter but Mr. O'Connell said that those statistics needed thorough study and he recommended that a study in depth be made going behind these statistics and in an effort to determine the causes of derailments.
We frankly are still trying to determine the causes of this increase in derailments, because as Mr. Menk pointed out in his affirmative testimony we welcome anyone who can help us determine the cause of this increase in derailments. After we have determined the cause then we think people may
be in a position to determine what remedies should be applied.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me read from that same letter the concluding paragraph.
"We believe that the primary responsibility for improved railroad safety should rest upon railroad management and labor"_Here is the crux-“However, we reiterate here that if it appears that they cannot or will not accept the challenge promptly to arrest the worsening railroad accident picture, consideration should be given to supporting or proposing Federal legislation which would provide additional sa fety regulatory authority for the Department of Transportation in the railroad sa fety field.”
And it was signed by Joseph J. O'Connell, Jr. I don't believe it is dated but I think it is the same letter you refer to.
Vr. MOLONEY. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAX. That is the very thing I am talking about, somebody in the industry and labor somewhere didn't accept the responsibility to do something about it and that is what happens so many times in the land today.
Mr. MOLONEY. As we stated, we agree with that statement 100 percent, Mr. Chairman, and in a letter to Mr. Leighty in answer to a letter that he wrote asking management's support for I think Mr. Moss' bill that we replied and used exactly the language that you have quoted and we said we are ready and willing and able to face up to this responsibility and we ask that you join us in doing so and we have extended that same offer of cooperation to the Department of Transportation.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Now you appear here before this committee saying you don't want the bill and I think there is going to be a bill. Why don't you enter into it and say, “We would like this or something else ought to be done." The fact of compromise and working together is the very essence of progress in America and in human relations, not just opposing. Anybody can oppose.
In fact, you should be saying, “If there is going to be something let's work together and it will be of mutual benefit." You haven't submitted anything.
Mr. MOLONEY. No, sir, Mr. Chairman, our position is that if that is done there is no need for this legislation or any legislation of this type.
The CHAIRMAX. That is going to be in the year 2000 or 2056. We want something and are demanding something now. These accident rates are going up and up and the number of people being killed is going up according to the statistics which I just read.
Mr. MOLONEY. May I respectfully, Mr. Chairman, invite your attention to Mr. Daulton's statement where he shows and he says those are actual statistics that there has been a marked decline in total railroad employee casualties.
In 1961 deaths and injuries totaled 19,118. In 1967 they totaled 17 467, an 11.9 percent decrease.
The CHAIRMAX. Just a minute. I am looking at the figures here and I don't see that.
Mr. MACDONALD. Mr. Chairman, will you yield?
Mr. MacpoxALD. How does that figure that you just stated compare to the dropoff in employment by the railroads?
Mr. MOLONEY. That question was asked and that information is being prepared for the record and the preliminary indication is that the percentage of deaths and injuries in 1966 will be exactly, the percentage now will be exactly what it was in 1961.
The CHAIRMAX. They have 122,000 less employees.
Mr. MOLONEY. Yes, sir, and we have as I have just read you that many less deaths and injuries.
The CHAIRMAX. I have that same set of figures.
Mr. MOLONEY. When you move to all persons, that includes not only employees and the like, we had an 8.9 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries in the same period of time and we think when we come
in with an 11.9 percent reduction in fatalities and injuries to our own employees and an 8.9 percent reduction covering our employees and the public that there is nothing in those statistics that justifies this rush into major legislation of this kind.
The CHAIRMAN. Rush. After about 10 years talking about it there is a rush?
Mr. MOLONEY. I would say that in the face of an 11 percent improvement since 1961 in the casualty and death figures that there is some indication of a rush because we are certainly improving.
Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman, would the Chairman yield?
The CHAIRMAN. No, I would just like to ask one question further about your testimony before the other committee on this.
If we are going to pass this bill, and we are going to try very hard and I think the time has come now to do it, do you believe that this ought to be handled by the Labor Committee?
Mr. MOLONEY. Insofar as the bill that you have in mind is concerned, I think any aspect dealing with railroad operations or railroad operating properties and so on should certainly be handled by this committee.
Insofar as the industrial safety, ventilation in a room or toilet facilities or things of that nature and so on, I supposed that might be handled under some kind of general industrial approach but we have felt that this committee and you as chairman, Mr. Chairman, have long dealt with legislation dealing with the safety of railroad operations and railroad operating properties and we certainly think that your committee is the one that should be concerned with the bill and not the Select Committee on Labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that the position you took when the Association appeared before the other committee?
Mr. MOLONEY. I do not recall that we appeared. As a matter of fact, I will say this: we did not appear. We had numerous conversations with the chairman who was presiding at the hearing and I stated to him the same thing I have stated to you, that if we did appear we would feel like we were in the wrong church, in the wrong pew, and before the wrong pastor.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. MENK. Could I put this figure in the record that Mr. Skubitz asked for so I won't have to send it?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. No; I believe it was supplied by your group too and said 632,863. That came from the Transportation Department.
Mr. MOLONEY. There could be a difference. One figure may be class I railroads and another all carriers. I don't know. I suggest if there is a discrepancy that might account for it.
The CHAIRMAN. I might say to this group that this committee and I am sure every member of this committee believes in private industry, wants private industry to flourish in this country, and we are not here to hurt or strangle it. We want a strong railroad system and have been arguing for it for a long time and trying to help things that ought to have been done in the passenger field and other ways.
Sometimes there comes a time in things that there has to be some action taken. I guess that is the reason this committee is acting.
The gentleman from Ohio.
Mr. Brown. I only wanted to make one point, Mr. Chairman, and that is that the thrust of my inquiry of the witness was to try to establish just what the safety record is and to elaborate to some extent on the statistics which were provided in this railroad safety record in historical perspective which was submitted earlier by one of the witnesses. I would like to again request a comment on the data which is submitted in these tables.
I would like to ask the witness now before the committee to comment on the data on these tables. I think it does make some difference as to reasons, for instance, that there has been a decline in the amount of track replaced, and so forth, with reference to whether or not a good job or poor job is being done by railroad management and labor with reference to safety.
I must say to the chairman that I am not convinced one way or the other yet as to just how much attention has been given to safety.
I might also ask, Mr. Chairman, are we to have other witnesses ? The CHAIRMAN. In the morning we are to have Mr. Joseph O'Connell, the National Transportation Safety Board chairman.
Mr. BROWN. Are we having witnesses from labor?
The CHAIRMAN. I want to thank you and mention as Mr. Nelsen did the fact that you have come back different times and both have been very cooperative in your testimony and your answers, and I think that, if we could all sit down since we are all trying to get to the same objectives, I am sure that you gentlemen are and those in the labor organization are and the administration, and we can do what we think is best for the Nation.
It has come before this committee and I am sure we should do something about it. We need your ideas to do this thing and get what is best. We certainly don't want to do anything that is going to be detrimental to the railroads of this Nation and I certainly think by working together we can do the best we can.
I want to thank both of you for coming before us.
Mr. SKUBITZ. Mr. Chairman, I think every member of this committee is interested in safety.
The CHAIRMAN. They surely are.
Mr. SKUBITZ. But you mentioned the figure 2,600 people killed. I have been trying to stress that most of these deaths were occurring at railroad crossings.
The CHAIRMAN. Not most of them.
Mr. SKUBITZ. I think this is where our committee ought to be looking