Rail Workers are the "Canary in the Coalmine" for a Broken System. Let's Fix it!
Congress and the Biden Administration failed to protect railroad workers. Their legislation to prevent a strike was a tragic miscalculation that could result in an exodus of skilled workers. Quality of life issues at the core of worker complaints remain unresolved. An exodus of rail workers (along with a wave of retirements by veteran rail workers) is now likely. This would result in a far more serious and long lasting supply chain crisis than a strike.
The conditions that railroad workers suffer are symptoms of systemic problems in the way US railroads are being run. Worker complaints and the complaints of shippers relate to Class 1 railroads' obsession with profit maximization at any cost. Dramatic workforce reductions, reductions in service and other cost cutting measures have made once sought-after careers some of the most undesirable and have rendered rail service chronically slow and unreliable.
It is in everyone's interest - workers, communities, and the environment - to:
- Expand railroad capacity and service for freight and passengers.
- Restore reliable, affordable service to communities and US industry.
- Guarantee working conditions that ensure rail workers are well rested as they drive these powerful trains - often laden with dangerous cargo - through our communities.
- Invest in the long term sustainability and electrification of our rail system for it to be the climate solution it has the capacity to be.
One of the things we can do is to tell Congress to use this lame duck session to pass legislation that starts to deal with the systemic problems plaguing our US rail system.
Tell members of the US House of Representative to pass H.R. 8649, the “Freight Rail Shipping Fair Market Act AND Senators to pass the companion bill Reliable Rail Service Act (S 4959).
This legislation would begin to return public scrutiny to railroad operations and service. It reasserts public interests in this critical national infrastructure. It is a way for Congress and the Administration to do their part to make careers on the railroad excellent and sought after, with conditions and compensation that retain and recruit skilled workers.
Now is the time to mandate that railroads serve 21st Century public interests, not just profit maximization for shareholders
Ready to Take Action?
- Click HERE to access a tool that connects you with your Congressional Representatives.
- Enter your address and zip code in the search bar; a list of your Congressional Representatives, President Biden and other elected officials will appear.
- Select the choice to reach out to Congress and President Biden
- Paste from above or type in your message into the tool
- Click Send. HERE's the Tool - Please take action now.
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