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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Congress, the Prez, and the strike


Date: 11/29/22 22:12
Congress, the Prez, and the strike
Author: TAW

my effort, for what it's worth.

I'm using a mass letter writing campaign system to try to get the message to Congress that forcing the TA is a Bad Thing.

This is the link to send letters to your Congresscritters and The Prez. You can use my words or write your own or both. It's easy to do. A few clicks does the trick.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/railroad-workers-need-your-help?source=direct_link&

Pass the link along to anyone and everyone. They aren't goig to write legislation over night, so maybe we have half a chance.

The short letter the link sends is linked to this, explaining in more detail:

https://climaterailalliance.org/potential-nationwide-railroad-strike-december-2022/

TAW



Date: 11/30/22 04:37
Re: Congress, the Prez, and the strike
Author: JPB

With all due respect, four of twelve freight rail unions representing about 60,000 workers failed to ratifiy the PEB recommendation with likely somewhat less than 50% of the members of these 4 unions voting in favor of ratification. Meanwhile, according to the administration, about 750,000 US workers (presumably many union members themselves) outside the RR industry stand to lose their jobs if the rail unions strike for 2 weeks or more. Is it worth risking the loss of 3/4's of a million US jobs because 30,000+ rail union members aren't happy about quality of life issues that have existed for decades in the industry and which rail union membership has had a hand in maintaining through their own bargaining efforts?

And legislation to block the rail strike is making its way through the House today 11/30/22 according to Ms Pelosi: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-urges-congress-act-avert-potential-rail-strike-2022-11-29/



Date: 11/30/22 07:34
Re: Congress, the Prez, and the strike
Author: ironmtn

JPB Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Meanwhile, according to the administration, about 750,000 US
> workers (presumably many union members themselves)
> outside the RR industry stand to lose their
> jobs if the rail unions strike for 2 weeks or
> more. Is it worth risking the loss of 3/4's of a
> million US jobs because 30,000+ rail union members
> aren't happy about quality of life issues that
> have existed for decades in the industry and which
> rail union membership has had a hand in
> maintaining through their own bargaining efforts?
>

And with all due respect to you, 750,000 US workers will not "lose their jobs". They won't be fired or terminated or permanently laid off - that's what "losing your job" means.

And you fell into the trap of accepting at face value, and completely uncritically, the administration's political-speak. That's what politicians - of all stripes - do all the time. They overstate and mischaracterize situations, counting on a public too busy or uncaring to pay attention to an issue for even a few minutes, and do even rudimentary critical thinking and analysis about a situation. You post fairly regularly on this board, and usually thoughtfully. I'm surprised that you would fall for this canard like a rookie. You know better.

If a strike persists for any significant period of time, there could be temporary layoffs. That is always very unfortunate whenever it occurs. It could have happened to me. I understood it and prepared accordingly. But those workers will be called back to work quickly once a strike ends, because business will have to resume, and there will be some need to restock inventories and get goods to customers which had been held up. Which also would have happened to me. But that is no where near "losing your job", a term which implies a permanent layoff..

Many strikes have occurred in many industries. I live in Michigan, and the last UAW strike against GM had very real impacts in terms of temporary layoffs, reduction of economic activity that led to reduced working hours for some, reduction in tax revenues to government, and other impacts. But I very much doubt if many, or any, people permanently lost their jobs as a result of the UAW's strike. And the state rebounded afterwards. As it has before, many times.

We all either have to sometimes accept some sacrifice to support each other in a just cause, or we will be steamrolled by forces larger and more powerful. I have been where rail workers are in another transportation mode, subject to 24x7x365 call, difficulty in scheduling personal life and obligations, and the cumulative effect that a highly irregular work schedule has on one's well-being. The carriers' unwillingness to negotiate on this issue and past actions in imposing draconian attendance policies, then papering it over with dollars with the supine complicity of the PEB (and its odious, infamous phrase, "money is money"), is obscene.

I am not a railroader, and never have been. I am relatively neutral on unions, although I was a union member for a few years in the past. But I totally support labor this time and have from the beginning. And I have told my congressional representatives several times now that they should NOT vote to impose a contract settlement, and should NOT vote to break a strike, if one occurs. I hope one does not occur. It's never the best situation. But the carriers' must be forced to accept better terms on attendance policies, work scheduling and related issues. If they are not, then they and their Wall Street masters will be emboldened to implement other abusive policies in the future.

MC



Date: 11/30/22 11:37
Re: Congress, the Prez, and the strike
Author: wcamp1472

My Opinions...and musings...

If 'management' persists, then they run the real risk of
having increased attrition + disgruntled workers permanently leaving....
at some point there will be a deep shortage of dwindling staff to support operations...

Another alternative is the ugly scene of mass 'sick-outs'....
that would have managers in a jamb, really quickly..

Then, what's management gonna do?   'Terminate' the hard-to-replace crews
with a bunch of newbies? (too many of whom like using "controlled substances"..).

For the future, RR rights-of-way are way-too 'open' to trespassers and
errant, smashed vehicles to EVER be considered for 'automatic operation',
with no on-board human operators.. 

Look at FRA stats for current numbers of daily vehicular & pedestrian trespassers
incidents ....even as now,  'trains manned' by crews..
( 'intrusions' on tracks: about 2,000/yr ---- currently,  "averages-out" to 6.06 per day )

Imagine 'automated', unmanned, long freight trains cruising along, only stopping for
trespassers and vehicles when the locos get derailed...

They might try weighted, dedicated 'scoops/plows' equipped-railcars ( with TV cameras)
as the front cars for the computerized "auto-trains"(?).

The country would have to be 100% grade-separated railroad crossings ....
to conceive of unmanned freight trains..

Wes Camp



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/22 12:17 by wcamp1472.



Date: 11/30/22 11:59
Re: Congress, the Prez, and the strike
Author: Trainhand

Well stated Wes. But it is a numbers game. If the rr's can run 20 trains without a crew and nothing happens, it is successful. On the 21'st when they do hit a vehicle or person, that becomes an acceptable loss and risk. These numbers are fictious and just an example. I don't know what the real ones would be.

Sam



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