Amtrak Expects To Temporarily Slash Service Over Biden Vaccine Mandate

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    Amtrak will temporarily suspend service for a few days next month because it is concerned about labor shortages caused by the Biden administration’s coronavirus vaccination mandate. This mandate requires government contractors employees to be fully jabbed before January 4th.

    Amtrak will need to reduce its long-distance service frequency temporarily as it complies with the federal vaccine mandate. This was stated by Stephen J. Gardner (President of Amtrak) in written testimony to a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing. As of this week, 94% of rail workers had been fully vaccinated. […] This problem is especially acute on multi-day routes where crew bases at intermediate points have lower rates of vaccinated workers.

    Gardner stated that “Achieving complete service levels while complying with vaccination requirements and continuing to prioritize the safety of our employees and customers is our goal.”

    Some Republican legislators expressed dismay at the impending labor shortages resulting from the vaccine mandate.

    Rep. Sam Graves (R.MO) stated that Amtrak received $60 billion in new funding. However, President Biden’s vaccine mandates are creating new worker shortages and service cuts. This is thwarting recovery of historic Amtrak losses last fiscal year. “Taxpayers are going to pay more for less service.

    According to Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General report, published Thursday, Amtrak is facing a staffing crisis due to a shortage of human resource managers who are responsible for hiring new employees. Amtrak plans to increase its workforce by more than 2o% between October 2022 and February 2022.