Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS), stands firmly behind Railroad Workers United in their quest to nationalize the nation’s freight system. Here in Washington State, in March 2023, two tipped-over locomotives on the banks of Swinomish Channel, derailed and powerless, became an apt metaphor for the nation’s decrepit rail infrastructure; broken and dangerous.
The freight rail system has shown that a privatized, corporate, for-profit monopoly is incapable of providing for the safety of its workers and the public. Highly paid shills for rail corporations have bribed law-makers to oppose any safety regulations that would cost their industry money. Injuries, deaths, ruined lives and ecocide are socialized costs borne by the public and simply a line item on corporate spreadsheets. Executives and shareholders escape accountability while collecting bloated compensation.
It’s worth remembering that our Transcontinental Railroad was built by an army of immigrant labor. Especially in the West, Chinese labor was exploited by racist bosses, meager wages and hundreds of lives lost. Indigenous peoples lost their ancestral lands in government giveaways as incentives to rail corporations. Fraudulent schemes syphoned many more government dollars to corporate crooks. (Google “Credit Mobilier”). We would like to include a special thanks To Railroad Worker member Mark Burrows of Chicago for his valuable insights, via zoom, on these issues at our March Meeting.
In Solidarity, Donald Larson for Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity (OWLS