Editor’s Note: The following Press Release comes from Railroad Workers United (RWU) a cross-craft caucus of railroad workers. It was the RWU who in February nominated the Class One Rail Carriers to this list.
For Immediate Release
Rail Workers Group Heartened by Inclusion of Class One Railroads on 2023’s “Dirty Dozen” List of Employers Putting Workers and Communities at Risk
Today, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) announced the Council’s annual list of twelve employers whose unsafe practices put the health and lives of workers as well as the safety of communities at risk, known as the “Dirty Dozen” employers. The nation’s big Class One Railroads – including BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway – were among them, after being nominated for the distinction in February by the group Railroad Workers United (RWU).
“Rail workers have, for years, been blowing the whistle on unsafe practices of Class One Railroads,” said RWU General Secretary Jason Doering. “These employers have pushed for single-person crews; implemented Precision Scheduled Railroading where cost-cutting measures have resulted in longer, heavier trains operated with fewer workers, while cutting back on both inspections and maintenance; put in place disciplinary policies forcing sick workers into work; failed to offer paid sick time; and continued their long-standing practice of retaliating against rail workers who report safety hazards and job-related injuries.”
“The tragedy in East Palestine, Ohio in February, 2023 brought the nation’s attention to what Railroad Workers United (RWU) has been warning against for 15 years,” added RWU Co-Chair Ross Grooters. “We hope this disgraceful distinction for the Class One Railroads as a 2023 ‘Dirty Dozen’ employer gains the attention of government agencies, unions, environmental and community organizations, and others. It is past time to force Class One Railroads to make the changes needed to protect the health and lives of rail workers and the safety of communities from coast to coast.”
“We thank National COSH for accepting our nomination of Class One Rail Carriers as a 2023 ‘Dirty Dozen’ employer,” said RWU Organizer Ron Kaminkow. “This is a ‘distinction’ these rail employers have worked hard for, and they deserve to take their rightful place on this year’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ list.”