U.S. Rail Strike Averted by Tentative Deal as Workers Decry Grueling Conditions

Railroad workers have reached a new tentative union contract with rail companies, averting a potential strike set to start on Friday that could have shut down rail service across the United States. The deal, which has yet to be released in writing and ratified by union members, is said to grant one paid sick day to workers, allow workers to attend medical appointments without being subject to attendance policies, and give a “semblance of a schedule” to rail workers, who are currently on call to work 24/7. Locomotive engineer Ron Kaminkow, the organizer for Railroad Workers United, says the railway crisis is “30 years in the making,” and describes how resentment has grown among workers as rail company executives slash resources for their employees while raking in record profits.

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  1. How about running the railways as a workers co operative and simply dump the management and shareholders who have only been parasites.
    The industry is worthless without the skilled staff to run it. Workers co ops have been incredibly successful in parts of Europe and have become the most innovative leaders of industry because they are not held back by the dead weight of shareholders.
    A happy contented workforce provides stability to the industry for clients and customers. Co ops allow more profits to be reinvested in the industry rather than lost to shareholders and the higher earnings of workers benefits local businesses.
    Co ops not beholden to maximizing returns to shareholders can support local community projects. Co ops can operate within the structures of capitalist business and socialcstructures where creation of capital can provide social benefit without having to seek the approval and constraints of faceless investors.
    Just a thought.

  2. lay off further notice…lay off further notice….lay off further notice, the vacant job goes to the extra board strike till you get it !!!

  3. This is so unbelievable- I work in IT sector, we get atleast 7 sick days and 15 vacation days at the minimum, from what’s known to me.
    To not have sick days or vacation days is violation of human rights. What’s even worse is to not have a schedule- that’s bonded labor.
    It’s the greed of the employer not the employees, if they are saying otherwise they are just buying time to extract more from the workers. It’s not that hard to understand.

  4. Imagine having to fight for ONE day off being a fucking stipulation while politicans barely work a full day and get so much money

  5. at the end of the day it is unpleasant to have to understand that human beings who hold a lot of money are unprepared to share it with those who make those 'record profits' (that lot of money), for them … the indecency of this defies description

  6. Remember warren buffet who owns bnsf was on the walmart board. Walmart pioneered these heinous and criminal business practices and has had these scheduling and attendance policies for a decade and a half.

  7. Here’s the question that should be asked…..What were the workers expected to do if they co tract Covid?

  8. Workers in this country have no clue how companies abuse them. In europe workers can be human and have lives and when they get sick they can recover without guilt of their greedy bosses putting their profits above their lives

  9. A SINGLE sick day??? Just ONE? If that is true, bring the whole abusive, brutal economic system to a grinding halt, guys. Working people need to hang tough. Other workers need to strike. We need to boycott abusive corporations and industries. Nothing — absolutely nothing — will be given to workers without demand and strikes. … Joe Biden the "most pro-union president in history"?! Whaddya' smoking, Amy?

  10. Shouldn't even have to discuss sick days, in this day and age of progress and prosperity. Oh it's only ok for the executive and share holders to make five times the profits they made before the pandemic. The human race is failing as a species. And needs to go extinct.

  11. This is all about the Midterm Vote, Their No Dead Reached. Just put off until after November… Government again Printing Money with out Backing. Long road More & More inflation …

  12. Sounds like they’re just kicking the can down the road…if the unions don’t ratify the agreement they face another cool down period that would last until after the November elections when republicans will be free to prevent them from going out

  13. I'm employed in passenger train service in Canada and we have only 2 paid "floater" days off per year. We have personal emergency leave days too (3 sick, 2 bereavement, and 3 family) but those are not paid, just days that will not be held against us for attendance. We have to specify which to use and why which I don't think is appropriate. The 2 paid days used to be flexible but now they are only allowed if you know at least 5 days in advance of something. And companies wonder why nobody wants to work in rail… We have vacation like any job but for unscheduled days off, we have squat. I understand that there's a balance. If employers give the more days, people will take them and it might become abusive. But we are talking about very few days here so right now it is nothing but company abuse of employees. I'm still bitter about our 2 paid days off being further restricted. It just seems petty and very anti-worker. The fact the railroads can't hold workers makes the attendance issue worse but the issue stems from poor working conditions and lack of a proper life beyond the railroad. If railroad companies would put in the effort to make working for the railroad fairer, they could find and retain staff with much more ease. I would say that my workplace is probably one of the more fair railroading jobs but it is still due for improvement as there are much of the same issues facing US freight workers. Except from the sounds of it, those guys are being treated like slaves. I cannot say the same. Horrible this is happening still.

  14. Railway system is outdated in this country and sounds like the treatment of its workers is outdated as well. What a shame

  15. Please know that railroad workers have my support in their strike. Glad they are striking to get basic human rights.

  16. Although it is hardly a pro-worker party, the Democratic Party keeps its image as the Party of the Working Class as the Republicans are openly hostile to the American working class and anyone else who is not in the top 1% of wealth. That's why my vote in the 2020 Presidential Election wasn't for Joe Biden, it was against Donald Trump!

  17. What about reducing crews to just one engineer for an entire train? These greedy corporations want to do that.

  18. The strike would really been beneficial if they would strike for Medicare For All. There's families and their children out there that are underinsured and is in bad debt because of this corrupt system.

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