Rail Passengers Statement on Today's Action to Avoid Rail Strike
December 1, 2022
Rail Passengers Association Statement on Congressional Action to Avoid Rail Strike
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (22-19)
Contact: Madison Butler, [email protected]
December 1, 2022
Washington, D.C.—Statement of Rail Passengers Association President Jim Mathews on the passage of legislation to impose a labor agreement and avoid a national freight rail worker strike:
"Our Association is pleased that the U.S. has avoided a shutdown of the rail network. This would have been devastating to millions of regular Americans who rely on trains to get to work, school, and home, as well as the millions more who would have been challenged to buy even everyday ordinary necessities. We thank President Biden, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for working the issue with the principals of the railroads and organized labor to avert this catastrophe."
“However, Rail Passengers remains worried that this agreement fails to address the real root of these harsh working conditions: Precision Scheduled Railroading, combined with a harsh penalty system for taking legitimately needed days off. Congress can stop rail workers from striking, but they can’t stop rail workers from quitting. As long as Class I’s care more about stock buybacks than running a quality railroad, we’ll continue to face long delays — for Amtrak passengers and shippers — and deteriorating conditions across the U.S. rail network.”
"We hope these past few months have opened the eyes of ordinary Americans and elected policymakers alike to the problems flowing from poorly executed Precision Scheduled Railroading, and that we continue to work on fixing those root-cause issues."
About Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible, and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works, and plays in towns all across America.
"The Rail Passenger Association's recognition of the essential work done by SMART-TD members aboard Amtrak during this difficult period is appreciated. The Golden Spike Award serves as a testament to the compassion and dedication our conductors, assistant conductors and other workers exhibit constantly through times both ordinary and extraordinary."
Jeremy Ferguson, SMART-TD President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.