Siemens and Alstom are lobbying lawmakers and the Biden administration as they vie to supply high-speed power cars and passenger coaches for the trains of Brightline West, a privately owned venture that aims to connect the Los Angeles exurbs with Las Vegas. The companies are relying on powerful allies to boost their chances, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), a public champion of Alstom, which has a factory in his home state’s Southern Tier.
Labor is another issue. Alstom’s New York state factory workers are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, while Siemens’s largest plant in Sacramento, Calif., isn’t unionized.
President Biden has said that supporting unions is a priority for his administration.
Siemens executives said that the company has unionized facilities in some 30 states and wouldn’t be building Brightline West equipment in Sacramento because that factory is at capacity with other orders.