Railroad and freight workers have long been the backbone of the American supply chain. They work long hours, make constant sacrifices, and are often on call 24/7; but it seems that the bosses have been asking too much for too long. These workers have endured cutbacks and stress so severe that many employees are blaming their work for health problems and even issues within their families leading to divorce. Fatalities within the railroad workers industry have grown by 60 percent in the last 5 years, and these numbers are assumed to continue to rise as “precision scheduled railroading” is allowing railroad bosses to run longer trains with less workers. These issues have become so severe that 99 percent of 11,000 members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers voted to authorize a strike on July 11.
On July 15, President Biden stepped in and worked in opposition to these workers, blocking this strike by signing an order that prevents their action. Despite the fact that these workers control 30 percent of the nation’s freight, their bargaining power has been forcefully negated due to the Railway Labor Act of 1926, an anti-strike law enacted at the behest of Railway companies. President Biden is making these workers engage in a Presidential Emergency Board that is forcing a 30 day arbitration with a forced 30 day cooling off period if an agreement cannot be made. These workers deserve to have their voices heard and this interference on a national level is not an acceptable solution to their issues.
Labor United for Class Struggle stands in solidarity with The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in their struggle and supports a safer and more equitable work environment for these workers.
Labor United for Class Struggle (LUCS)