23 hours ago
This recent legislation passed through congress giving railroad workers zero sick days by both Democrats and Republicans should shatter any illusions that the Democratic Party is the party of the working class. Biden, who still even now claims to be “pro-labor” has shown that he’s only pro-labor in the same sense of the phrase as Reagan, “get back to work!”
Rail unions have been trying to negotiate a just contract with the carriers for three years. Their last strike was in 1992; Congress forced them back to work. Since then, the workforce has been systematically cut from 500,000 to 130,000, with trained teams of only two people — which the companies want to reduce to one engineer — operating “mega-monster trains.”
Profits have skyrocketed. “Congress should not have to intervene. The railroads should provide paid sick leave to its employees,” BMWED said in a statement. “They have the money to do it, and it literally would cost them a penny of every dollar of record profits to provide it. It’s only 2% of what CSX, NS and UP spent so far this year in stock buybacks. It’s literally nothing to them, yet they refuse to provide it.”
If they strike, rail unions will be taking on the capitalist state apparatus, as well as the freight companies. Unlike the bulk of U.S private sector workers, they are not covered by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. The Railway Labor Act, passed before the National Labor Relations Act and before the mass labor upsurge of the 1930s, has particular language attempting to limit the ability to strike.
Workers World Patty is in unshakable solidarity with the rank-and-file railroad workers in whatever action they take next. All power to the workers!
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Standing in solidarity.
4 days ago