Date: September 19th, 2022
For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
RWU General Secretary Jason Doering 202-480-0587 firstname.lastname@example.org
RWU Co-Chair Ross Grooters 515-689-3229 email@example.com
RWU Co-Chair Gabe Christensen 775-682-0889 firstname.lastname@example.org
RWU Organizer Ron Kaminkow 608-358-5771 email@example.com
RWU Treasurer Hugh Sawyer 404-290-1961 firstname.lastname@example.org
RWU Steering Committee Member Paul Lindsey 208-317-7379 email@example.com
RWU Newsletter Editor Mark Burrows 773-486-7001 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rank Rank & File Rail Workers Group Urges Mass Picketing Wednesday, September 21, 2022
An ad hoc group of rank & file working railroad workers has come together to call for informational pickets at rail terminals around the country. In the face of the controversial Tentative Agreement (TA) that has been reached by the myriad of unions in various forms, this informal grouping has called on railroad workers to join in the protests scheduled for Wednesday. The group has not identified itself by name. It is an expression of working rail workers who are angry and unhappy with the treatment that railroad workers have endured in recent years. The group posted an announcement on social media Sunday.
While not party to organizing the Wednesday actions, Railroad Workers United (RWU) supports these types of efforts and encourages all rail workers to take part in the events at rail terminals where planned. According to RWU General Secretary Jason Doering, “Neither the unions nor RWU is officially sponsoring this day of action. It appears to be part of a spontaneous uprising of working railroaders around the country who wish to voice their discontent with the treatment they received from the Class One rail carriers.”
All twelve unions that are party to the national agreement with the major freight rail carriers in the U.S. have now reached Tentative Agreements (TA) with the carriers. At least a few TAs have been ratified by the membership (TCU, BRC), while at least one (IAM) has been voted down (by a 63% to 37% margin). That union has extended the “cooling off” period with the carriers until September 29th, at which time, barring further agreement to extend, the union would be free to strike. Still, other TAs have been put out for membership ratification vote by the respective unions and await results. Meantime, the unions of the operating crafts (and the signal maintainers) narrowly avoided striking last Friday, reaching a TA at the last minute, brokered by President Joe Biden. The TAs with the operating crafts are still in the process of being ironed out and will go to the membership for a vote, presumably sometime in October.
“While all of this is happening,” states RWU Organizer Ron Kaminkow, “the rank and file is not standing idly by, but is mobilizing, as evidenced by the group that has come together to call for Wednesday’s action.” RWU itself is planning for possible action later in the Fall once more of the voting has been completed and the contents of the TA with the operating crafts are published and available. “We expect things to come to a head next month, and RWU will no doubt play a role in coordinating and channeling this mass discontent,” according to RWU Co-Chair Ross Grooters.
To reach out directly to the ad hoc group that is organizing the Wednesday action, email email@example.com.