The Possible Railroad Strike - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15257253
Who do you guys support? The railroad workers or the railroad companies? I support the railroad workers. What I don't understand is that Congress feels free to impose a deal on workers that they don't agree to while not ever imposing a deal on companies that they don't want but can afford to pay for and still make a profit for their company. I fully stand behind the railroad workers on this one.

Workers and employees need to be paid sick time because it does nothing good to get sick and then bring that virus into the workplace and infect the rest of the workforce. And that's a company's productivity or, in this case, the railroad.

Congress should impose a deal on the railroad companies that are fairer to workers, which would include paid sick time off. Not impose an unfair deal on the railroad workers. The railroad companies are already making record profits. Hence, there is no reason why the railroad companies cannot afford to pay for sick time and hire more railroad workers to ensure they are adequately staffed. Congress seems to be OK with companies having bargaining leverage, but once workers have it, they try to take it away from workers.

This isn't right. Congress should force companies to settle on a deal that will make railroad companies pay sick leave. With the record profits they are making off the backs of railroad workers, this is not unreasonable.

David Shepardson and Lisa Baertlein of Reuters wrote:The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote Wednesday to block a potential rail strike after President Joe Biden warned of the dire economic consequences of a rail disruption that could happen as early as Dec. 9.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers will vote Wednesday to impose a tentative contract deal struck in September on a dozen unions representing 115,000 workers.

"I don't like going against the ability of unions to strike but weighing the equities, we must avoid a strike," she said Tuesday after a meeting with Biden.

Biden had warned Monday of a catastrophic economic impact if railroad service ground to a halt, saying up to 765,000 Americans could lose their jobs in the first two weeks of a strike.

"Congress, I think, has to act to prevent it. It's not an easy call, but I think we have to do it. The economy is at risk," Biden said.

Despite the close ties between unions and the Democratic Party, several labor leaders criticized Biden asking Congress to impose a contract that workers in four out of 12 unions rejected over its lack of paid sick leave.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, one of four unions that voted against the contract, objected to Biden's call to Congress to intervene, saying "the railroad is not a place to work while you’re sick. It’s dangerous.... it is unreasonable and unjust to insist a person perform critical work when they are unwell."

There are no paid sick days under the tentative deal after unions asked for 15 and railroads settled on one personal day.

Biden on Monday praised the proposed contract for including a 24% wage increase over five years and five annual $1,000 lump-sum payments.

Regulators and shippers have accused railroads of cutting staff to improve profitability. The railroads oppose giving their workers paid sick time because they would have to hire more staff. The carriers involved include Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N), Berkshire Hathaway Inc's (BRKa.N) BNSF, CSX Corp (CSX.O), Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N) and Kansas City Southern.

Biden's call for Congress to act was criticized by left-leaning lawmakers including Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Cori Bush, as well as Republican Marco Rubio, who say the president is not acting in workers' interests. The measure needs a simple majority to pass the House. The bill would require a supermajority of 60 out of 100 votes to pass the Senate.

"I can’t in good conscience vote for a bill that doesn’t give rail workers the paid leave they deserve," Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat, said on Twitter.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also criticized the effort but said "I think it will pass but it's unfortunate that this is how we're running our economy today."

A rail traffic stoppage could freeze almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, stoke already surging inflation and cost the American economy as much as $2 billion per day.

Brian Dodge, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), said the idea of a rail shutdown "is just absolutely catastrophic" after companies spent the last year and a half trying to untangle gridlock in the supply chain. "We'd be setting ourselves back down that same path and it would take just as long to untangle the next time," he said.

Association of American Railroads Chief Executive Ian Jefferies said, "Congress has historically acted with haste in a highly bipartisan manner and that's our goal again here as we sit here today." The U.S. Congress has passed laws to delay or prohibit railway and airline strikes multiple times in recent decades.


https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden- ... 022-11-29/
#15258023
The railroad workers should strike. The idea of an illegal strike is nonsense, are they going to be forced to work at gunpoint? Of course not, the goal is just to provide legal cover to aid scabs in taking their jobs. There's no such thing as an unskilled job. Even working at McDonald's requires that you learn their machines, the Point of Sale system, etc.

Not only are they not receiving an adequate portion of the results of their labor, they aren't even getting the base benefits every worker in America deserves. If Congress has to intervene to stop you from striking then you should strike, because you clearly have far more worth to America than Congress.

The big question is: are Federal and State law enforcement agencies willing to use force to prevent a picket line from forming? And if so, are they willing to allow that to go on long enough for unskilled employees to get up to speed on a job where everyone with institutional knowledge has suddenly vacated their positions?
#15258026
SpecialOlympian wrote:The railroad workers should strike. The idea of an illegal strike is nonsense, are they going to be forced to work at gunpoint?

Something conservative Libertarians and many activists on the Left can agree. And yet there are many Ultra pro-business Conservative Party members and authoritarian "government knows best" members on the Left who do not agree.

This issue doesn't simply divide along the usual Left-Right partisan lines.

I think they forced this deal because everyone recognized a strike would not be good for the economy. But it was at the trade-off of worker freedom and being pro-union.
This really harkens back to "New Deal" type legislation (as happened under Roosevelt).

And I think for those who really understand this story, it will cause both those on the Left and Right to do a double take, because it does not have a simple ideological solution.

I also suspect this is a rare type of decision that President Biden had a personal hand in, rather than just being made by his advisors as usual. It is true it was already very likely the government would intervene in any national rail strike, but Biden is the type of person who would intervene and try to impose a solution for pragmatic reasons.

Paradoxically there are both elements of this decision of Biden's that are both Communistic, and yet at the same time demonstrate a more "moderate" approach than other factions of the Left. (Communistic because it involves central planning of the economy and forcing an agreement between private parties, but more moderate because the right of a worker's union to strike is being taken away and all the entire weight of support is not being thrown behind the worker's union, and a compromise had to be made to get this pushed through Congress)
#15258030
Puffer Fish wrote:Something conservative Libertarians and many activists on the Left can agree. And yet there are many Ultra pro-business Conservative Party members and authoritarian "government knows best" members on the Left who do not agree.

This issue doesn't simply divide along the usual Left-Right partisan lines.

I think they forced this deal because everyone recognized a strike would not be good for the economy. But it was at the trade-off of worker freedom and being pro-union.
This really harkens back to "New Deal" type legislation (as happened under Roosevelt).

And I think for those who really understand this story, it will cause both those on the Left and Right to do a double take, because it does not have a simple ideological solution.

I also suspect this is a rare type of decision that President Biden had a personal hand in, rather than just being made by his advisors as usual. It is true it was already very likely the government would intervene in any national rail strike, but Biden is the type of person who would intervene and try to impose a solution for pragmatic reasons.

Paradoxically there are both elements of this decision of Biden's that are both Communistic, and yet at the same time demonstrate a more "moderate" approach than other factions of the Left. (Communistic because it involves central planning of the economy and forcing an agreement between private parties, but more moderate because the right of a worker's union to strike is being taken away and all entire weight of support is not being thrown behind the union, and a compromise had to be made to get this pushed through Congress)

It’s 1930s style corporatism, @Puffer Fish. As you say, this is very similar to what Roosevelt was getting up to with his ‘New Deal’ - on one level, Roosevelt was ‘siding’ with the workers, but on another level he was taking control of the workers’ unions. This is straight from the fascist playbook. Unsurprisingly, Roosevelt was strongly inspired by what Mussolini had been doing in Italy in the 1920s, much more than by what Lenin had been doing in Russia at the same time (neither Hitler nor Stalin had much appeal for Roosevelt, for obvious reasons). As I said, 1930s style corporatism, though Biden probably thinks of it as a new ‘New Deal’….

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