News Release

Is the U.S. Heading Toward a Railroad Workers Strike?


MEL BUER,, @mel_buer
Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Buer is a contributor to The Real News Network. Earlier this summer, she wrote the piece “Corporate billionaires are wrecking the supply chain. Just look at the railroads.”

Along with TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez, Buer just co-hosted a panel — “Is the U.S. headed for a national rail strike?” — with current and former railroad workers and members including Ron Kaminkow of Railroad Workers United to discuss the looming possibility of a massive national rail strike.

The Real News reports: “The rail industry is experiencing a self-induced crisis as a result of decades of cost-cutting, profit-maximizing executive decisions that have driven rail workers and the supply chain into the ground. In an attempt to mediate between the major freight rail companies and unions representing over 100,000 railroad workers, President Biden appointed a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to offer recommendations for resolving the ongoing contract disputes. But an overwhelming number of surveyed workers seem prepared to reject the PEB’s recommendations, and if the current contract dispute isn’t resolved the US could be headed towards its largest rail strike in decades.”

While mainstream reporting has claimed that there will be steep raises for workers in current proposals, Buer states that “the pay raises weren’t the only issue that rail workers were concerned about, and reducing it to a matter of simply increasing wages glosses over the egregious working conditions that rail workers have been dealing with for years at this point. It’s my understanding that a lot of the gains in the raises would be offset by increased insurance premiums, as well.”

See from Labor Notes: “Rail Workers Reject Contract Recommendations, Say They’re Ready to Strike.”