At the behest of the Railroad Robber Barons, President Biden signed into law the “National Railroad Scab Act of 2022.”, also known as HR 119. This comes at the heels of Congress preemptively breaking the impeding National Railroad Strike scheduled to begin December 9 at the behest of the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC), the negotiating arm of the railroad monopolies.
This latest assault on the democratic rights of workers began with Biden’s statement, released on Monday, calling on Congress to overrule rail workers votes on a rejected tentative agreement. After backlash from Labor, many members of Congress stated they would not pass a bill that didn’t include paid sick leave for rail workers. After back room negotiations, Democratic leadership announced they would vote to force the tentative agreement and paid sick leave, but would do so separately. This move showed the clear motivation behind Democratic Party leadership, priority number one was subverting workplace democracy. With limited Republican support, the paid sick leave predictably failed in the Senate. They then voted to force the rejected deal on the rail workers in a bipartisan show of anti-labor sentiment.
Many holdouts in the class collaborationist wing of the labor movement place all the blame on the Republicans for their votes against paid sick leave, Labor Today sees it differently. It was the Democrats who forced the vote and made sure sick leave was voted separately, making the Republicans willing patsies in their push to force the rejected deal on rail workers. Rank-and-file Railroad Workers United (RWU) members put it bluntly in a press release earlier today, stating, “We suffered a one-two punch at the hands of, first, the Democratic Party; the second served up by the Republicans.” It is unclear what the railroad workers next steps will be, the only thing that’s certain is that this issue affects every American worker and we will continue to stand behind them no matter what.