Railroad workers may opt to go on strike at any time on or after September 16th, when the latest "cooling off" period proscribed by the Railway Labor Act expires.
To discuss why workers are ready to strike and the impossible working conditions they have to wrestle with, and how we can be in solidarity with them, Solutionary Rail is convening a call with railroad workers.
Tuesday, August 30
Noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern
RSVP below for the zoom link
Railroads attempt to reduce crew size to just one person, even as they increase train length. They cut back on other positions that are vital for adequate service and support. This creates numerous safety and performance issues that are a detriment to everyone.
Railroads are imposing work rules that make a job that can be difficult and dangerous into one that is impossible for workers to live with. Railroads are dictating work schedules that do not allow workers sufficient rest and that make it impossible for workers to deal with family and healthcare needs. They have made it impossible for workers to know what their schedules will be. The result is driving people to quit the industry in significant numbers.
Railroads are slashing compensation to the point where they are having trouble finding enough people to operate trains and provide other services. They cannot hire and train enough new employees to meet their needs because they have made railroad jobs undesirable.
Railroads are failing in other ways. Decades of abandoning lines, reducing trackage, and deferred maintenance have left America with a rail system that serves fewer and fewer. Add to that their drive to increase earnings through mergers, instead of competing and innovating, and the result is an industry stripped of capacity to respond to demand and basic infrastructure needs.
Railroads, in their move toward "Precision Scheduled Railroading," cannot provide timely service that meets customer needs and are driving customers away. This increases supply chain issues, leads to more trucks on the highways, and increased air pollution.
All of this comes at a time when the industry is very profitable.
This is why Solutionary Rail supports efforts by rail workers to negotiate for a fair share of those profits and to demand working conditions that make working for railroads a safe and satisfying career. If it will take a national rail strike to make that happen, we are prepared to accept that step, reluctant as everyone is to have to go to those lengths.
Learn more about this fight by joining the conversation on Tuesday, August 30.
Guests include Ron Kaminkow of Railroad Workers United and others TBA.