Longshore union president says profitable private railroad companies, not railroad workers, have brought the country to the brink of a strike: “Warren Buffett can afford to pay wages for railroad workers who get sick”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 29, 2022) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which has issued several statements of support for the nation’s railroad workers throughout negotiations, today criticized the movement in Congress to impose a contract that workers in several rail unions have rejected for lack of paid sick leave.
“Warren Buffett can afford to pay wages for railroad workers who get sick and need to stay home or see the doctor,” said Willie Adams, International President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). “If Congress imposes a rejected contract siding with Warren Buffett against the will of our nation’s 115,000 railroad workers, it will greatly undermine union rights in America.”
Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), one of the nation’s massive railroad companies.
“The ILWU continues to unequivocally stand in support and solidarity with the nation’s railroad workers and their railroad unions in their fight to get a fair agreement with the private rail companies that have reaped record profits during the pandemic,” said Bobby Olvera, Jr., ILWU International Vice President (Mainland). “The railroad barons’ profits have contributed to inflation, and they do not need any favors from Congress – especially at a high cost to workers and collective bargaining.”
The ILWU Coast Longshore Division represents 22,000 dockworkers in all 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast, and first announced its solidarity with the railroad worker unions on July 19 and remains supportive today of their collective bargaining rights to achieve demands for sick leave and other quality-of-life issues.