Switchman Ernie Diego signals the engineer from the back of a locomotive. Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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.
In this recorded livestream, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and TRNN contributor and journalist Mel Buer co-host a livestream panel with current/former railroad workers and members of Railroad Workers United to discuss the looming possibility of a massive national rail strike.
Studio/Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden
The transcript of this video will be made available as soon as possible.
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Is the US headed for a national rail strike?
by Maximillian Alvarez and Mel Buer, The Real News Network September 2, 2022
Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Mel Buer is an associate editor and labor reporter for The Real News Network. Prior to joining TRNN, she worked as a freelance reporter covering Midwest labor struggles, including reporting on the 2021 Kellogg's strike and the 2022 railroad workers struggle. In the past she has reported extensively on Midwest protests and movements during the 2020 uprising and is currently researching and writing a book on radical media for Or Books. Follow her on Twitter or send her a message at firstname.lastname@example.org