CFL News
June 21, 2019

Chicago Railcar Facility Officially Opens

The Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Federation of Labor reached a major milestone on March 25, 2019, when a ribbon cutting ceremony was held to officially open the facility. During the press conference, it was announced that 70 workers had been hired by CRRC Sifang America to construct railcars for the CTA 7000 Series contract. These new hires are a product of partnership spearheaded by the Chicago Federation of Labor to bring quality union jobs back to the city through the use of innovative procurement language, along with IBEW Local 134, SMART Local 73 and Jobs to Move America. The announcement was made at CRRC’s $100 million factory on Chicago’s Southeast side, which is set to become fully operational by the end of 2019. The CRRC hires are the first new railcar manufacturing workers in the city in 50 years.

The new facility “means high-road, high paying, good union jobs that will allow these workers to provide for their families,” said Nora Cay Ryan, Chicago Federation of Labor Chief of Staff, at the press conference. The new workers traveled to China following the announcement to receive specialized training in assembling prototypes for the CTA. The prototypes for the next generation of CTA railcars are expected to be completed by 2019.

“I think the fact that they’re able to go to China and actually see how this process works helps invest them in the process and allows them to truly understand what it is they’re doing and how it all comes together,” said Ryan. “It makes them more effective in what they do.”