The Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO is a coalition of 33 unions that advocate for unionized workers and labor unions’ institutional interests in the transportation industry. The TTD tends to support left-of-center economic goals, including increased labor regulations, increased infrastructure spending, opposition to privatization, and support for more security mandates for transportation workers. The TTD PAC, an associated political action committee, primarily donates to Democratic candidates.
The TTD has two members sitting on the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy as of 2021. 
Opposition to Ride-Sharing Companies
In October 2019, the TTD released “The Costs of Doing Business,” a report to lawmakers on how ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft allegedly undermine public transportation and harm workers. The report criticized ride-sharing companies for evading regulations, lobbying for local, state, and federal funding, diminishing local public transportation budgets, and exploiting workers by classifying their drivers as independent contractors without traditional employment rights, such as a state-guaranteed minimum wage and overtime pay. 
In February 2020, the TTD released a recommendation plan for the federal government to expand its infrastructure spending. The plan recommends increasing the federal gas tax to pay for the Highway Trust Fund, and to increase expenditure by unspecified amounts on roads, bridges, railroads, ports, and airports, all of which should be worked on by union members. 
The Transportation Trades Department supports the Jones Act, a law dating from 1920 that requires all maritime trade between U.S. ports to be conducted by ships that are built, owned, and operated by U.S. citizens. The Jones Act has come under scrutiny in recent years due to its negative economic impact on far-flung U.S. states and territories, such as Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Guam, which are forced to pay high costs for rare U.S.-operated ships from the mainland U.S. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, the TTD directed a significant portion of its $262,200 worth of lobbying expenditure towards supporting the Jones Act. 
Department of Transportation Mask Mandate
In October 2020, the Transportation Trades Department sent a petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting that DOT mandate the use of face masks on all public transportation primarily to protect transportation workers from the COVID-19 pandemic. DOT rejected the petition but restated the official position that all passengers should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommendations to wear masks on public transportation. 
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Transportation Trades Department led efforts to mandate increased railroad security, often against the priorities of private rail companies. In 2004, then-TTD CEO Edward Wytind advocated for mandatory “rigorous security training” for all rail employees, and stricter federal regulations on the hauling of hazardous material. 
Opposition to Mergers
The Transportation Trades Department has consistently opposed the mergers of transportation companies, particularly railroad companies. In 2016, the TTD successfully led an effort to block the merger of the Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern, two of the largest private railroad companies in North America. 
As of September 2021, the Transportation Trades Department’s PAC has contributed $60,000 to political candidates and PACs this year. Since 2002, the PAC has typically spent around $150,000 each election cycle, peaking at $193,000 in the 2020 cycle. 
The TTD PAC gives predominately to Democrats. In the 2020 cycle, 84% of contributions went to Democratic candidates, compared to 74 percent in the 2018 and 2016 cycles.