YouTube video

The United States could see its first major railroad shut down in 30 years beginning this Friday, September 16. For months, unions and railroad corporations have been locked in negotiations mediated by Biden’s Presidential Emergency Board to resolve a two-year conflict over inadequate sick days. So far, many union leaders have accepted the PEB recommendations, but workers have yet to ratify them. While Congressional action to force workers to stay on the job remains a possibility, the potential also exists for workers to defy any such order and strike anyway. As the countdown to a national railroad strike continues, many mainstream media outlets are focused on the impact a shutdown could have on consumers, often failing to mention the reasons for the strike or how railroad corporations’ lockout tactics are already affecting the supply chain. 

To get more on the inside story, TRNN editor-in-chief Maximilian Alvarez interviews Matt Parker, a full-time locomotive engineer who’s worked on the railroads for 19 years. Parker also serves part-time as Chairman on the Nevada State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

Post-Production: Adam Coley


The transcript of this story is in progress and will be made available as soon as possible.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

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.
Follow: @maximillian_alv