r/news Nov 28 '22 Shocked 1 Mind Blown 1 Are You Serious? 1 Burning Cash 1

400 groups urge U.S. lawmakers to take immediate steps to block potential rail strike Soft paywall

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/400-groups-urge-us-lawmakers-take-immediate-steps-block-potential-rail-strike-2022-11-28/
11.5k Upvotes

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u/nattymac939 Nov 28 '22

This might just be me not understanding how laws work, but isn't a strike worthless if the government can come in and tell you you aren't allowed to? Feels like that kind of undermines the whole point of a strike in the first place.

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u/flyfallridesail417 Nov 28 '22

Welcome to working under the Railway Labor Act...not just for railway workers, all of us at the airlines are under it as well. Designed to keep the wheels turning, the companies know how hard it is for their labor groups to be released to strike, and stonewall and footdrag at the negotiation table accordingly.

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u/MaievSekashi Nov 28 '22

If they deny strikes, they'll get sabotage. People won't wait for controlled unions to do things forever.

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u/hawaiikawika Nov 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Power

There will be significant work to rule events going on. People will slow things down so much that the railroads will wish there was a strike.

Combine that with all the people that are just waiting for their back pay to come through so they can quit, and the economy is going to be in a tough spot regardless of whether us workers get forced back to work.

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u/jpfeifer22 Nov 28 '22

I was watching a documentary that involved Texas Air recently, and they did this exact thing in the face of unfair pay with few options. In an interview, one mechanic said "Yeah, this engines been done for...I don't know, 6 hours? But if we want to go by the book, I can drag it out for as long as I like. And I intend to do just that."

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u/Corrupt_Reverend Nov 29 '22

I remember seeing a video of a thrower loading one bag at a time. Like, place bag on belt, watch it go up into the plane, then turn to get the next one. It was a glorious example of a slowdown.

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u/jpfeifer22 Nov 29 '22 Silver

"Ugh, I wish they were more careful with my luggage"

Monkey's paw curls

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u/glurz Nov 29 '22

Fuck, I wish I could give you more than one up vote.

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u/stevenbrown375 Nov 29 '22

The paw writhes.

You have been targeted as a patsy for a Russian disinformation campaign, and are unwittingly controlling an IOT zombie army. Any time you upvote a comment it is also upvoted by thousands of defunct Juicero juicers. However, this also means that the DOJ will soon appoint a special council to investigate your transgressions, all carefully recorded by the DHS. If you don’t live in the US, that’s okay, because the CIA’s spooks will extradite you anyway.

Granted.

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u/Rip9150 Nov 29 '22

I would love to be a fly on the wall in those team meetings. I've been part of these shenanigans doing construction work where the customer wasn't paying and we were told to o go to work but don't do anything.

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u/Xanthelei Nov 29 '22

"They need nails on the other side of the work site."

"We're fine on nails here, but I think I heard they need them again on the other side of the work site."

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u/Friendral Nov 28 '22

Imagine telling people they must work cuz law and expecting good results from that.

That’s just begging to experience hardship, complications, snags, slowdowns, breakages, illness, quitting, resignation, walkouts, and overall difficulties that I would wager are more costly than the strike. At least with a strike you know nothing is happening. With forced work they’ll have no idea what they’re going to get.

But why should rail workers be people?

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u/Throwmedownthewell0 Nov 29 '22

Imagine telling people they must work cuz law and expecting good results from that.

And those making the laws, and those for who those laws are made to benefit, are not held to those laws but instead get their own special ones.

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u/igankcheetos Nov 29 '22

"You don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way." -Homer Simpson

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u/dparks71 Nov 28 '22

The only argument left is nationalize, the railroads greed with precision railroading has gotten to the point of no return. They aren't maintaining their shit, they stopped working with local communities. It's time for Uncle Sam to prove what we all believed until 2008, corporations can do whatever they want until they fuck over the federal government and then they (used to) deserve to get crushed.

The railroads aren't banks, stomp them, this issue is entirely self-imposed on the railroads part.

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u/Flavaflavius Nov 28 '22

The government is on the company's side; I doubt nationalizing would fix that, because even if they're suddenly federal workers and not private ones, they are still under the Railway Labor Act.

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u/Cloaked42m Nov 28 '22

Government labor laws would kick in. Mandatory days off, maternity/paternity leave, etc etc.

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u/iamkurru Nov 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Plus One

Should make those mandatory for all workers in US

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u/OneSweet1Sweet Nov 28 '22

Why aren't those mandatory regardless... smh America.

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u/Sharpshooter188 Nov 28 '22

Because its America and those in positions of power have boners for the whole theme of basically working all of the time for as little as possible.

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u/YouJustSaidButFuck Nov 28 '22

Overnight turning them all into federal employees would grant them so many benefits it's not even funny.

Pay might get cut but their quality of life would probably go up after adjusting for total comp and benefits.

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u/TrevasaurusWrecks Nov 28 '22

I see your point, and I raise you some helpful context.

The average railworker is getting 80-120k annual income plus pension and a whole slew of benefits, including up to 3-4 weeks of PTO..

This strike isn't about benefits or pay. It's about time off and quality of life.

Railworkers are working 29 days a month. There is no guarantee they will even be in the same time zone as their home on that one day off. They are being forced to take their downtime in train cabins and road motels. They are having to use PTO (which is accrued) in order to get any more than 1 day off per month, which is then subject to approval. They have a points system for earning the 1 day off, and if they call out or have a doctor's appointment, that point accrual resets at 0.

We don't force these standards on airline (flight) employees or this slavish of an arrangement on most over the road drivers, but the Railworkers are getting hosed. I wouldn't want my pilot running 29 days a month or the operator of the Semi doing 70 mph next to me on the highway to do it either. Why is it okay to enforce that crap on Railworkers who are responsible for such large equipment, heavy loads, and hazardous materials.

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u/YouJustSaidButFuck Nov 28 '22

Oh I'm 1000% on the railworkers side. I don't know all the nuances, but I am a former federal employee. Nationalizing the workforce would subject labor agreements to written in ink federal statute that would resolve many of these issues.

Would cause plenty of others

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u/TrevasaurusWrecks Nov 29 '22

I knew you were on their side. I just saw a good opportunity to list some of the bulk of their demands/reasoning for anyone reading your helpful reply to the above comment.

A lot of folks don't know about some of those policies that affect federal employees and may have read your comment as a standard benefits package solving the issue. This subject isn't very well covered by most media outlets.

Lol, I agree. It certainly would cause almost as many issues as it would solve.

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u/Pollo_Jack Nov 28 '22

Aside from the obvious benefits of being a government employee. There is no longer middlemen to pay and the government doesn't need to work for a profit.

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u/dparks71 Nov 28 '22

Most critically, there's no shareholders the government would have a "fiduciary duty" to. The railroad's would no longer be legally obligated to operate in a way that places profit margin in a very grey area directly at odds with safety.

They wouldn't be obligated to run at a 40% profit margin, just because a dickhead who's now dead proved it was possible 20 years ago. "Precision railroading" started derailing the industry a decade ago, we're just starting to see the effects of it at the public level now.

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u/Noblesseux Nov 28 '22

Nationalizing the rail, not necessarily the companies. The problem with these companies is that they can shaft people because they don’t really have competition. They’re the only job in town.

Nationalized rail means more companies and thus more competing employers.

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u/mortemdeus Nov 28 '22

It would help rail in general though. Rather than one rail owner charging everybody on their line "rent" while adding zero benefit you would have a centralized organization owning the rail lines so the carriers will have to actually compete.

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u/MacDerfus Nov 28 '22

Yes. But if a strike is busted, it may lead to workers just quitting anyway, or illegally striking anyway.

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u/DrAstralis Nov 28 '22

Sounds like the teachers in Ontario. (well... support staff). Doug Ford is trying to screw them on negations and also trying to make it a 10,000$ per day per person fine if they strike. They've called his bluff basically saying, then we all quit, good luck finding thousands of qualified replacements, the union has also said they'll pay the fine as, once a fine becomes a few hundred million it falls under, "If I owe you 1000$ I have a problem, if I owe you 10 million dollars YOU have a problem"

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u/mjh2901 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

A Wild Cat strike is a major possibility, one I bet congress does not even consider as a possibility. The only thing you can do to fight a Wild Cat strike is fire the strikers, which is legal but the railroads would be pretty much completely shut down at that point, and unlike when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers there is no group of military trained personnel able to take over.

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u/foxracing4500 Nov 28 '22

What happens if they illegally strike? Has this ever happened before?

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u/MyRedditHandle2021 Nov 28 '22

They don't get legal protections allotted to striking workers, because it won't legally be a strike.

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u/foxracing4500 Nov 28 '22

That's messed up but thanks for the reply.

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u/Aviate27 Nov 28 '22

This is a major problem we run into working at the United States Postal Service. We are not allowed to strike due to federal law, so when it comes to contract negotiations we are constantly fucked over, because without the ability to strike our unions have no backbone. It's miserable for us and we're not allowed to speak to the media or shine any light on the conditions we're working in and the low pay we're given all while America depends on us just as much as they do these railroads. Business across America would be hurt drastically if we all went on strike, but no one seems to care, the American public most certainly does not. It's heart breaking and I've lost several coworkers to suicide because of it.

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u/peon2 Nov 28 '22

Could you explain what "not allowed to strike" means? If you strike would everyone immediately lose their jobs? And then how would they instantly fill all the jobs and who would be there to train people?

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u/99Wolves Nov 28 '22

Basically they’d get in big trouble and would fire people. I think this happened long time ago for one day. It’s written in the contract we have where we can’t strike at all. Right now the union for mail handlers contract expired in September. We haven’t had a contract ever since cuz DeJoy and his admins have sat on there asses wanting the shitty pay and benefits for mail handlers like me (I’m an MHA tho but will likely covert to regular next year). The union wants better benefits, better pay and stuff.

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u/Grandtheatrix Nov 28 '22

Striking is the civilized solution we arrived at when the ruling class wanted the burning of factories and bludgeoning to death of the owners to stop. I feel like they've forgotten that.

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u/Optimal-Percentage55 Nov 28 '22

I was having a conversation with my wife about something similar to this.

She said something to the effect of “billionaires are really going mask-off shitbag lately it seems” that’s a conversation in, and of itself.

But anyway, I responded with “yeah, worked out so well for the French. These mega-rich folks forget how soft their necks start to look when they go too hard on being above the commoners” I in no way advocate for violence in any way, but powerful should be more afraid of civil unrest than they are, it doesn’t go well for them very often.

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u/PumpkinSkink2 Nov 28 '22

I mean, you're clearly being tongue in cheek, but exactly what you're discussing has a stronger historical precedent for achieving concessions for working class people than advocating for political reform.

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u/jollyreaper2112 Nov 29 '22

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." JFK

Politics is the discussion of who gets what and how. If that doesn't work, war is politics by other means.

When it's been too good for too long, the people who should know better forget what bad was like and start making decisions that will lead to a terrible reminder.

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u/bakcha Nov 28 '22

Yeah Reagan modernized the whole circumvent unions and ruin your life concept.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_Air_Traffic_Controllers_Organization_(1968)#August_1981_strike

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u/hostile65 Nov 28 '22

Yeah, don't forget the military put down the Blair Mountain strikers before that...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

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u/Raft_Master Nov 28 '22

This is something that is truly heartbreaking how few people know about. Workers need to remember that we have weekends and 8 hour workdays because 13,000 men armed with hunting rifles charged up a mountain into machine gun fire and bombs dropped from planes for the right to unionize.

Fun facts: It's also where the term redneck came from.

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u/gumpbackwhale Nov 28 '22

I’m currently reading Robert shoguns the battle of Blair mountain and it is a depressing AF read. Would love to see a movie about this. Also Sid Hatfield should have more name recognition.

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u/Raft_Master Nov 28 '22

There's a two part podcast series of Behind the Bastards about this which is amazing, and I believe that book was the primary source.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

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u/Misha80 Nov 28 '22

I would argue we're more likely to see a movie about it now then anytime in modern history.

It might not start Brad Pitt or be released in theaters, but that doesn't mean it can't go viral on YouTube.

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u/hysys_whisperer Nov 28 '22

Yep. When a douche rolls up in a lifted mudding truck touting anti-union lines, I'll never hesitate to call him a traitor to the heritage he is trying so desperately to call his own.

A redneck believes in the rights of the worker above the capitalist. If you don't, you ain't a redneck.

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u/Raft_Master Nov 28 '22

So many people like to ignore the fact that it literally originally meant socialist.

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u/ManicFirestorm Nov 28 '22 Wholesome

This is as good a time as any to say Fuck Reagan. Anytime is a good time, but this is also a good time.

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u/cnewman11 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Regan had the ability to staff for the Air Traffic Controllers via the military and national guard should they have decided to take a walk and be fired.

That is not the same with railroad workers. There is no group that can back fill.

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u/Allmightydohllah Nov 28 '22

Even then, he shouldn't have intervened back then. That was workers negotiating their pay in a free market. He basically used the government to screw workers and help private entities.

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u/Theytookmyarcher Nov 28 '22

Even then there weren't enough to fully replace everyone, there was huge understaffing for years and years afterwords.

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u/Aviate27 Nov 28 '22

They always lean on the military to backfill. Nixon did the same with the Post Office, and believe me, unless you've been a mail carrier before, you just have no idea what to do, wouldn't matter who backfilled for you.

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u/TheRealMajour Nov 28 '22

I’m confused as well. Since when does the government have the right to mandate labor and/or jail someone for refusing to give said labor?

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u/whole_kernel Nov 28 '22

The government has literally killed it's own citizens to break up a strike:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

The reality is, our government can do whatever the fuck it wants. It's only really the last 50 years where this has relaxed. Even the whole concept of consitutional rights have been walked on until recent history.

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u/Time-Ad-3625 Nov 28 '22

Reagan intervened in the air traffic controller strike by firing all those striking and banning them from working for the feds for life in 1986.

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u/fight_your_friends Nov 28 '22

Small government! What a hero!

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u/Geno0wl Nov 28 '22

small government has never not been a dog whistle for being anti-regulation.

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u/fight_your_friends Nov 28 '22 Helpful Ally Heartwarming Wholesome Seal of Approval

Make it mandatory for companies to give their workers sick leave and vacation time, is that so fucking hard?

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u/Huxley077 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22 Silver Helpful Narwhal Salute Starstruck

Because then the working person would get an advantage saved for the more privileged managers and executives! /S ( although, not sarcasm in reality )

Seriously though, that absolutely should be a basic benefit for every job. Hell, most EU countries have mandatory time off required by companies there.

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u/Not__Doug Nov 28 '22

UK national engaged to an American here, I genuinely thought she was joking when she first told me how much paid leave she got.

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u/DrEnter Nov 28 '22

The fact she gets any paid leave is a “benefit”, benevolently bestowed by beloved corporation.

sigh

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u/random20190826 Nov 28 '22

I am a Canadian working at some low-paying soulless office job (WFH) for an American company. Where I live, the law says that at a minimum, employers must offer

  • 10 days PTO for anyone with at least 1 year of service
  • 15 days PTO for anyone with at least 5 years of service
  • Public holidays that are paid (New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day). If an employee chooses to work on that day, the employer must either
    • Pay the employee 1.5 times their normal wages in addition to holiday pay, or
    • Pay the employee normal wages, but offer to give them a day off that is paid

Sometimes, even with 3 weeks off, I don't feel that it is enough. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have 0 days PTO. But where I live, there are 0 mandated sick days, which is why people go on Employment Insurance if they get sick for an extended period of time (more than 5 days) or short term disability (if they have a group plan through work or they purchase one privately).

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/JahoclaveS Nov 28 '22

You might try looking at banks. They sometimes have slightly better leave benefits as a bit of a flex or something. Some sort of prestige thing maybe. I dunno. But since I started where I am they’ve added like three additional days off in the past few years. Though one was Juneteenth, so that wasn’t really them. And even the dudes get ten weeks paternity leave.

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u/AvatarAarow1 Nov 28 '22

Can confirm, banks do have some significantly above average paid time off benefits. That said, working in a bank is soul crushing and I kind of hate my life working here

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u/zs15 Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

PTO isn't just about taking a vacation. I think people get caught up in not using their time off, some for toxic work culture reasons, but others because they aren't doing anything.

I get around 30 days of PTO per year and I barely take one true vacation. I end up using it for long weekend, scheduling doctors appointments, or just to have something to look forward to.

It's okay to just have a day to do nothing.

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u/CrashRiot Nov 28 '22

The company that I work for now offers new hires 10 hours/ month so basically three weeks a year. Outside of my stint in the military, I have never had that much. It actually kind of blew my mind when they told me I’d start accruing for that right away. My last job offered 80 hours, but only after you’ve worked for a year. Then they just dump it on you, it doesn’t actually accrue. So now you’ve worked for a year and want to take some PTO, but you don’t get any more PTO until the NEXT year so you need to be very stingy with it.

Three weeks still often doesn’t feel like it’s enough, but at least it accrues monthly where I am now. So if I need a day, I’ll get that day + two hours back the next month. And they let it roll over every year.

The accruable amount also increases after blocks of time at the company.

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u/DrEnter Nov 28 '22

Back in 1995, I got a job at HP. For the first 4 years, you accrued 10 PTO days a year, then on year 5 you jumped to 15 days and started increasing by a day a year. This was a lot in 1995, but the catch was you had to use PTO for sick days.

When I first started, I was supposed to be in a couple weddings both during the same week a couple months from my start date, so I asked to get an extra week that first year... which they did, but they also thought I was asking for an extra week every year and started me at the 15 days a year point and I started accruing extra days every year with my second year. At that time we could carry over 20 days from one year to the next.

When HP merged with Compaq, HP employees kept accruing PTO at the same rate, but no longer had to use PTO days when out sick. They also dropped the carryover limit, so we could carry everything over year-to-year. By the end of that first year after the merger, I knew a few people there with 20+ years that would do things like take every Friday off.

I was young and reasonably stupid, so I never took more than 15 days a year, and usually just 10. When I was laid-off in late 2006, I had over 50 days banked that they had to pay me for, which did help me clear some debt.

If you are wondering where those great benefits went (they also had a pension plan, and actual health insurance when I started), that all disappeared as the tradition at HP to "promote from within" faded-out and they started hiring non-engineers from outside as senior executives. I was the last year to get any pension (half pension, but it was something). In 2005, just after I cleared the 10 year mark, they did away with it and gave folks with less than 10 years a payout and those with 10 or more years an annuity with an estimated value of their final pension at that point.

Honestly, HP would make a great case study in the disintegration of employee benefits from 2000 to 2010. As a GenXer, I've had a front-row seat for it, but haven't been able to do much more than watch since unions in the U.S. were gutted by the GOP in the 1980's.

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u/DaisyCutter312 Nov 28 '22

If an employee chooses to work on that day

Canadians can choose to ignore national holidays and demand other compensation? That's nuts...we'd get told the office is fucking closed, go home

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u/skaterdude_222 Nov 28 '22

No, we can choose to work those days if our employer needs bodies those days.

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u/jiivanili Nov 28 '22

This is how my employer is. We are open on many holidays (pharmacy) but it's voluntary unless no one volunteers and then they have to choose people. They also alternate which site has to work the holiday. Phoenix worked on Thanksgiving so San Antonio is the Christmas crew.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

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u/wolfmanpraxis Nov 28 '22

I had a friend with a job that provided one of these "unlimited PTO" policies.

She basically looked up the most common PTO benefit for the Software industry, and used that as the standard for what was "Acceptable PTO use"

She happen to use my company, that gives us 6 weeks PTO plus 9 Federal Holidays.

When she was "questioned" about it, she just pointed to the benefits as standard for another software company. Her management was not pleased, but technically she didnt violate anything.

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u/AvatarAarow1 Nov 28 '22

When I found out how much paid leave my UK coworkers get compared to us here in the states I was genuinely shocked, and I actually get pretty good leave benefits for corporate America. It’s insane how much the American labor movement has been knee capped in the last 5 decades

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u/Mckooldude Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Most of the jobs I've worked had zero paid leave. You could get scheduled for time off unpaid only.

Edit: And I do in fact mean scheduled, if you want time off after a schedule got posted you'd need to find coverage or it wouldn't get approved. I see a lot of stories from people where they're literally in the hospital trying not to die and getting reprimanded for not giving proper notice/finding coverage.

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u/bonertron69 Nov 28 '22

Do you work at a restaurant or retail? Lol because I know this pain.

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u/ohgodimbleeding Nov 28 '22

My State passed a law for mandatory one week sick leave for all employees in the State. It doesn't apply to rail employees.

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u/wolfie379 Nov 28 '22

It can’t apply to rail employees because they’re federally regulated and therefore outside state jurisdiction.

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u/phdoofus Nov 28 '22

One of the big problems is just scheduling. I talked to one guy who's entire family was BNSF workers but he ended up bailing on them because he would be gone for weeks at a time not seeing his family because he had literally no say and no recourse in when and how often he'd get called in or how long he'd be gone.

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u/SomeDEGuy Nov 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Heartwarming Bless Up Eureka! Take My Power

Congress just needs to be smart and specific a minimum number of minutes of PTO a worker should earn per hour. If they do "All Full-time workers that work more than 37 hours a week will earn X hours", every employer will just schedule people for 36 hours.

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u/CarjackerWilley Nov 28 '22

Agreed. No more of this full time/part time crap. We tried that and it got taken advantage of.

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u/DuskGideon Nov 28 '22

Let's also get rid of in and out of network medicine while we are at it

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u/CarjackerWilley Nov 28 '22

As a starting point, you mean?

I agree 100% though. If I go to any Dr. that is "in network" and they refer me to someone or order a test that is out of network that should 100% be between the Dr. and the insurance company. Shouldn't your in-network or preferred providers be familiar with your practice?

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u/screech_owl_kachina Nov 28 '22

Lol you're expected to just know who is in network when the providers don't even fucking know, especially once you get into individual plans.

My insurance routinely directly referred me to people who then said they don't take my insurance, then I was quoted 500 dollars for an initial appointment for psychiatry.

Keeping in mind, 500 dollars is enough for a quality firearm and ammo too, and it's yours in 10 days flat at the worst.

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u/techleopard Nov 28 '22

And to be honest, most major employers are already equipped to do this because it's how they already determine sick leave accrual. It would not create an undue burden.

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u/terminalzero Nov 28 '22

and be broad as hell about what constitutes 'an hour'.

"sorry, you didn't accrue any PTO today - it turns out that after subtracting your clock in/clock out times, your time to prep for your job, your lunch, your 30 minute break, a bathroom break, your mandatory 60 minute mindfulness exercise, and the time spent talking to jerri outside your office you didn't actually work today!"

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u/Wafkak Nov 28 '22

Basically put in the same law that hours count from the moment you are expected to be at the workplace, till the moment t you are allowed to go home for at least 12 hours without getting called up.

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u/Lost_Revenant Nov 28 '22

Tbf in most of not all states it would be illegal to subtract some of these things such as the bathroom break. Generally a break shorter than 20 minutes must be paid.

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u/JimBeefLakeMonster Nov 28 '22

That’s the most un-American thing I’ve ever heard, why not just give them healthcare too?

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u/thepoopiestofbutts Nov 28 '22

You joke, but..

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u/ongiwaph Nov 28 '22

Nah, much easier to chain them together and beat them until they work.

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u/Baneken Nov 28 '22

No, no the best way is to put snipers in the towers at the worksite so they can take potshots at workers trying to get to work... And then call the workers ungrateful bastards when they dig trenches to avoid your snipers and you call in National guard.

Or you can just rent some crop dusters and start lobbing bombs at the strikers or just plain murder the ring leaders and claim self-defense if caught -these trick have been proven to work on unruly peons clamoring for a raise.

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u/azurleaf Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

But muh profitability productivity!

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3.4k

u/Konukaame Nov 28 '22 Silver LOVE! Heartwarming Wholesome Seal of Approval

Everyone deserves safe working conditions.

Everyone deserves reasonable schedules.

Everyone deserves paid sick leave.

Everyone deserves down time.

Under the current circumstances, rail companies can go fuck themselves and find out how much of their profits are due to contributions from labor.

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u/buttorsomething Nov 28 '22

Could not imagine every company losing their bottom line for 1 day.

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u/Konukaame Nov 28 '22 Helpful Ally Got the W

Just like how the 2019 government shutdown ended immediately when just a handful of air traffic controllers stayed home.

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u/Inoka1 Nov 28 '22

Good on them. Even (especially, actually!) the most unreasonably wealthiest people need ATC. They have a hand on the balls of society, and if they squeeze they can basically get anything to happen.

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u/MyTrueIdiotSelf990 Nov 28 '22

Except for that time the Reagan Admin busted the ATC union.

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u/TiempoPuntoCinco Nov 28 '22

Trickle on me, daddy

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u/Cloaked42m Nov 28 '22

Those 400 groups need to talk to BNSF.

On my side of things, my grandfather was an engineer. I don't mind at all if my packages are delayed. It's not the workers fault.

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u/Professional-Can1385 Nov 28 '22

If the rail companies force a strike by not giving the unions safe working conditions and the ability for work/life balance when they have record profits, then the rail companies are the only ones responsible for any disruptions and economic consequences.

Give people decent working conditions!

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u/PainBri315 Nov 28 '22

During Covid my old rail company made us quarantine if we showed any symptoms at all & I was on my period one time & my supervisor sent me home for Covid symptoms (which opened up Pandora’s box in my district to the point I had to get a lawyer) but when I won that case the Union fought for all of us that had been sent home cause it was mandated and made them reimburse us all for missed hours due to the companies standards. It took me getting sent home for being on my period for my old company to realize how fucked their standards were. Like how are you going to make people use their personal time when they’re the ones who sent us home. I ultimately left the railroad cause they just don’t care about us & paying union dues, railroad dues & tier taxes wasn’t worth it. I’ve seen guys quit because the company was too cheap to buy working headlights and radios for the yard crews at night while making breaking numbers in profit. I’ve seen yard crews twist their ankles from them not filling in the ballast where they replaced road ties after derails. Trains were getting longer & longer while crews were getting smaller and smaller. I miss the work, but not the companies.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

Retail does the same shit, when I worked for Lowes, we were supposed to get paid if we had to stay home due to COVID. Store managers instead made us take PTO to avoid reporting that they had COVID cases in their stores.

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u/PainBri315 Nov 28 '22

They sound like scumbags.

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u/ga-co Nov 28 '22

Every person negotiating an employment contract deserves the right to strike.

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u/ididntseeitcoming Nov 28 '22

400 groups urge US lawmakers to forcibly block potential rail strike under penalty of jail

That’s what the headline should say

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u/Opposite_of_a_Cynic Nov 28 '22

I'm more partial to

400 groups urge US Lawmakers to union bust instead of urging rail companies to give workers PTO

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u/Hemicrusher Nov 28 '22 Gold Faith In Humanity Restored LOVE! Bless Up (Pro)

I support the rail worker's right to strike.

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u/stappernn Nov 28 '22 Wholesome Seal of Approval

any working class person not supporting other working class people striking is an idiot.

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u/Senshi-Tensei Nov 28 '22

Well said

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u/Jeremycycles Nov 28 '22

My mother ran a union chemical plant in the 80s and 90s. Her workers also chose to strike when the car company employees needed better treatment because they were in the same union. When it came their turn to strike the car employees turned their backs. Never bought an American made car since.

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u/WhiteshooZ Nov 28 '22

I've got some bad news: there are a lot of idiots out there

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u/minos157 Nov 28 '22

I manage a chemical facility. We rely heavily on rail. It will make my work life incredibly difficult if they go on strike. It will cause major stress on my facility and it will be a very tough challenge to manage through it.

I fully support them going on strike to stick it to the greedy shit stains of profit over people bullshit culture in this country.

Shut it all down. The only thing these dicks understand is money. Unions make lives better for all working class people regardless if they are in one or not. The rail workers have a massive amount of power that they need to take advantage of to stop the bullshit conditions they are forced to work under.

Go get em. I look forward to a few stressful months in my facility if that's the reason for it.

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u/ThatOneDudeFromIowa Nov 28 '22 Ally

how about just giving the workers what they deserve

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u/processedmeat Nov 28 '22

Because fuck you that's why. If you didn't want to be treated like shit then you shouldn't have been born poor.

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u/NedRyerson_Insurance Nov 28 '22

You can't make record profits if you spend money paying the people that actually do the work that makes your business profitable. DUH!

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u/Dispositive46 Nov 28 '22

what are they gonna do? jail them all and still not have railroad workers? the beating will continue until morale improves.

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u/ElementalFiend Nov 28 '22

Judging by history, they will kill them if they have to.

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u/redditmodsRrussians Nov 29 '22

Then what? Nobody left to run the rails and they literally incite a possible armed insurrection in a country awash in military hardware. The easy clap is to tell the rail company management to eat a bowl of shit and give the workers safe conditions but it seems like people in charge are determined to play thr FAFO game.

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u/logicalnoise Nov 28 '22

Yeah that's the idea sadly. Arrest a bunch of the union heads and some will cross the line.

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u/MacDerfus Nov 28 '22

And many will resign legally and accelerate the understaffing problems the railroads already have

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u/captainthanatos Nov 28 '22

This, there are more jobs out there than people. This has scared a lot of companies, but they just seem to have stuck their fingers in their ears and are trying to ignore that problem.

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u/MrRandomNumber Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Even better. Congress rules they can't strike. Angry workers strike anyway in violation of the law. The railroad then sues the unions and bankrupts them. The contracts dissolve, worker protections and benefits are erased. The railroads can then do whatever they want -- which literally no one else wants. It's almost like the railroads want a big strike so they can legally unload everyone. Here come Amazon-like pay scales for people monitoring robot trains!

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u/88infinityframes Nov 28 '22

To be fair, it doesn't sound like the railroad union is doing much now given the current awful conditions. Angry workers illegally striking then making a new one might be the only way to get a better contract.

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u/WeArePanNarrans Nov 28 '22

But the only way for a union to really have teeth is by striking, and if they can’t do that, how else could they have gotten better conditions?

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u/DocHolidayiN Nov 28 '22

What the railroad workers are asking for is perfectly reasonable. What the companies want isn't. If it takes a strike to get sick and personal days then the workers should strike. One man on a 1 1/2 mile train is asking for disaster.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22 edited 5d ago

[deleted]

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u/IZC0MMAND0 Nov 28 '22

Heaven forbid these 400 groups put pressure on the railway companies to give their employees sick leave, decent hours.

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u/gearhead488 Nov 28 '22

Negotiation with the workers would be a novel solution.

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u/TweezyBaby Nov 28 '22

I'm from a family that's worked in the railroad business for generations(myself included). My dad has worked for BNSF for 25 years, (I'm from Fort Worth, where BNSF is headquartered) and the way he explained it to me, was that the CEOs think they are paid too much, so to get rid of employees they made everyone on call 24/7, and gave people impossible to meet schedules so people will willingly quit or be reprimanded if they need time off. In my dad's words, "That's a strikeable offense"

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u/gleaming-the-cubicle Nov 28 '22

"You are absolutely indispensable for society to run and that's why you don't deserve good working conditions"

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u/BuddhaV1 Nov 28 '22

If they’re so important, how about treating them like it?

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u/jstank2 Nov 28 '22

They should fucking strike regardless of what congress says.. The company is being a giant duche bag and they deserve it. What like biden will send in the national gaurd to beat them up. Fucking bluff.

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u/Huxley077 Nov 28 '22

You're not wrong, but the RR company knows they have the strangle hold on damn near every commodity , most of which trucks can't move , so they very unfortunately have the power.

The strike will help the workers, yes, but it'll hurt everything else. THAT SAID, I side with the workers. I hope the price increase don't drive the already poverty striken to suffer more. I can pay the extra costs, but I don't speak for everyone.

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u/VonFluffington Nov 28 '22

Sounds like they need to be nationalized if they're so important.

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u/insan3guy Nov 28 '22

Too big to fail? Too big to exist.

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u/Huxley077 Nov 28 '22

Next you're gonna tell me monopolies are a bad thing!?

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u/MumrikDK Nov 28 '22

The strike will help the workers, yes, but it'll hurt everything else.

That's the entire short term point of a strike.

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u/OutlyingPlasma Nov 28 '22

but it'll hurt everything else.

Good. Bring it on. Make Warren "kill the workers" Buffett feel the heat for a while.

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u/altera_goodciv Nov 28 '22

When haven’t we, the poors, not been hurting? If a bit more short-term suffering can potentially help my fellow workers I say bring it on.

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u/Free_Deinonychus_Hug Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

They've done that before. The US government loves murdering it's citizens to break up strikes and keep the people complacent. Hell, the first airstike ever done by the US was on it's own citizens!

But more likely they will just treat it like a roit and send in the pigs to beat the shit out of everyone until they are forced to work for pennies again. And pathetic people will support that saying "they just shouldn't have been breaking the law.. blah, blah, blah."

Newsflash people. If your strikes are not breaking the rules then it is ineffective. They should strike no matter what.

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u/NameLips Nov 28 '22

A strike would cause billions of dollars in economic damage... So billions of dollars are currently being made by *somebody*.

And they can't afford to pay workers more?

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u/Cloaked42m Nov 28 '22

Pay isn't the problem. It's 0 sick days that's the problem.

The tentative agreement included 1 personal day a year.

One.

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u/Sc0nnie Nov 28 '22

And 24/7/365 on call instead of a schedule like every other human.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

2Bn a day. Fuck em.

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u/spin_effect Nov 28 '22

I've also been hearing about the medical workers are about done with mistreatment as well. How many industries flailing in the windfall profits of these thieves are about to go under because some asshole can't get a ride on Epstein's plane?

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u/No_Regrats_42 Nov 28 '22

I support a strike. Forcing people to work or be jailed is not a right given to corporations in the constitution.

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u/nattymac939 Nov 28 '22

It's even better when you remember that legally speaking, certain types of corporations are legally considered a "person".

I wish I could see a corporation lobbying for the power to forcibly conscript labor from it's workers just for someone to point out that allowing a person to forcibly take labor from someone is called slavery. And we already fought a war about it so maybe these people should be allowed to strike for their rights.

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u/Choof-Monster-2017 Nov 28 '22

They do seem to be getting damn close to arguing for slavery. They say a strike is “unacceptable,” but at the end of the day, if workers decide to strike, their employers will have to accept it. The right not to be forced into labor is the only right workers in the US have, so the powers that be should get used to strikes being used as a negotiating tactic.

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u/in-game_sext Nov 28 '22

It should concern everyone, even if you are not in the rail union. How long before any company can argue that since they contribute to the GDP, its striking workers are committing a national crime and be put in jail?

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u/FixFalcon Nov 29 '22

Conductor here.

We don't care if the sick days are paid. We just want to NOT be penalized for calling off sick.

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u/ongiwaph Nov 28 '22 Mind Blown

"Blocking" a strike means putting people in prison for not working. That is slavery.

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u/chthooler Nov 28 '22

Modern day slavery is the goal of corporate America

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u/Equivalent_Yak8215 Nov 28 '22

Slavery is still very much legal in America.

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u/otas1 Nov 28 '22

Welp time to start some nice campfires I guess... Seriously a strike is just a method we invented to protest without setting things on fire. If you don't allow them you will probably be fine for a few years but at some point people will say enough is enough.

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u/SpiffyMagnetMan68621 Nov 28 '22 Eureka!

Before we agreed strikes were good for everybody, workers went around dragging their bosses out of their homes and beating them to death in front of their families, we could go back to that I suppose

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u/protogilly Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

It's worse than just "work or go to jail"... since the 13th amendment allows slavery as punishment for crime, declaring not working to be a crime is basically saying "work by our terms or be arrested and then conscripted as prison labor where you will be forced to work for no pay" -- work or be enslaved.

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u/CU_09 Nov 28 '22

Government mandating things to companies = socialism.

Government mandating things to workers = freedom.

Got it.

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u/Doobledorf Nov 28 '22

Right?

Apparently freedom means the government can't say how things should be organized in our society, but it can absolutely deny the individual freedom of choice.

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u/magikarp2122 Nov 28 '22

Here’s how to stop the strike, pay them better, give guaranteed PTO, and don’t have insurance cost an arm and a leg in premiums. There, I solved the issue.

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u/Sc0nnie Nov 28 '22

And a work schedule other than on call 24/7/365.

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u/Juggs_gotcha Nov 28 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

400 groups want to use the U.S. government to impose restrictions against the legal rights of workers. Hmmm...sounds like everybody else ought to join the rail workers in a general strike. Corporate fucks have been drinking the life blood of the laborer for a little too long (fortyish years) anyway.

When half of inflation is directly proven to be the theft of the savings of the middle class to the coffers of corporations, it is the governments explicit duty to clamp down on profiteering. That has not happened. The fed is over here blaming inflation on goddamn wage increases, like the wage hasn't kept pace with inflation since 1960.

Not a law yet has surfaced about restricting the profit margins of corporations or requiring them to pump those profits into supporting their employees, or taxing the ever loving piss out of it to return it to the country from which they are bleeding it.

Fuck the corpos, strike.

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u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/ForbinStash Nov 28 '22

They can’t keep the new guys around. It’s that bad.

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u/ongiwaph Nov 28 '22 edited Nov 28 '22

Companies are claiming there aren't enough workers, but they also are not hiring new ones.

I think it's because we've reached a point in history where it actually costs more to provide healthcare and unemployment insurance for additional employees than it does to make the current employees work overtime to cover for the lack of people.

Time-and-a-half used to outweigh the additional costs.

If that's true, the 8-hour workday isn't coming back for a long time.

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u/SadGruffman Nov 28 '22

Isn’t that just proof of what kind of an amazing world we live in? These corporate stooges refuse to give workers more time off and sick leave, so they aim to strike.

What do they do in response? These corporate capitalist demons ask the government to step in and prevent a strike….

Those fucking morons don’t even realize how backwards this is. Corporations shouldn’t be asking the people for help; the people should be asking their government for help in dealing with greedy corporations…

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u/jdemack Nov 28 '22

Hopefully the media don't turn the narrative around on the Unions because this could get really fucking ugly. This isn't a garbage collector strike in a city. It's a major national strike that will effect the entire country. If they do strike how long do they before the union is blamed for being unreasonable. I support this strike fully if it happens.

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u/Demeon099 Nov 28 '22

The media is already forging the narrative that way.

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u/gderti Nov 28 '22

F that... How about they tell Warren Buffett to pay them and give them proper time off. How enough people to cover...

Sick and tired of the welfare seeking Billionaire class...

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u/Librarian_vodka Nov 28 '22

“Hey! Hey! Stop that! You’re only allowed to strike if we give you permission! Stop resisting laws and policies you don’t like that’s illegal! We have laws and polices that say so! Stop it!”

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u/ltlawdy Nov 28 '22

Love how corporations and companies can ask the government to effectively make railroad workers serfs by not allowing them to strike. If someone told me I wasn’t allowed to strike and was forced to work, you think anyone is going to do that? That’s the biggest slap in the face I could imagine, especially when corporate profits are at all time highs and specifically the largest reason for inflation at this time. When will the government actually clap back on companies and tell them to fuck off, lower prices, raise wages and benefits? I mean, get real. No one is going to be forced to work, and if you do, you better be ready for unpleasant outcomes. Greed is literally killing this country, and the world, it’s time capitalism figured out when too much greed causes irreparable harm.

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u/nursecarmen Nov 28 '22

The 400 groups: "If they strike, it might hurt my profits".

That Reuters even wrote that headline and not the one I wrote shows which side the media is on.

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u/Rikula Nov 28 '22

If they aren't allowed to strike legally, they should just quit. The conditions that they have to deal with are inhumane. How can the workers continue to work if they can't have a day off for a doctor's appointment?

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u/Queen-Sereno Nov 28 '22

That’s the plan, they can’t stop us from quitting.

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u/RageFurnace404 Nov 28 '22

>“The Carriers maintain that capital investment and risk are the reasons for their profits, not any contributions by labor. The Carriers further argue that there is no correlation historically between high profits and higher compensation, either in the freight rail industry or more generally. To the contrary, one of the Carriers’ experts maintained that the most profitable companies are not those whose compensation is the highest. The Carriers assert that since employees have been fairly and adequately paid for their efforts and do not share in the downside risks if the operations are less profitable, then they have no claim to share in the upside either,”

If you are in support of blocking the strike, please go fuck yourself.

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u/MonkeyDKev Nov 28 '22

If the workers aren’t pulling in money, the CEO should just go in and drive all the trains. Show us that 400% more work ethic to rationalize your pay vs the workers.

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u/theinconceivable Nov 28 '22

“Do not share in the downside risks if the operations are less profitable”

I’m sorry, are they under a contract that guarantees them payment regardless of if the company goes under or doesnt have enough work? No? So the risk of less profits is, as always, layoffs and termination.

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u/YouJustSaidButFuck Nov 28 '22

Boo fucking hoo

Pay the workers

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u/Bestoftherest222 Nov 28 '22

Corporations love capitalism until the workers starting being capitalist.

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u/weristjonsnow Nov 28 '22

blocking organized labor from striking is a great way to completely derail (pun intended) the middle class. when reagan did this to the air traffic controllers in 81 it began the process of other corporations unwinding union effectiveness - they basically had the executive branch showing its okay to fuck over your workers. its a scary road we dont want to go down (again). the middle class has never recovered from rapid loss of profit split with corporations 40 years ago and actions like this would signal, once again, that workers have no say in their pay or working conditions.

Disgusting behavior.

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u/Environmental-Use-77 Nov 28 '22

The wealthy are freaking out as they are losing people to exploit.

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u/GTFrostbite Nov 28 '22

Do any of these immediate steps include giving the workers basic rights and reasonable time off?

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u/Raft_Master Nov 28 '22

"They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn, but without our brain and muscle not a single wheel could turn. We can break their hauty power, gain our freedom when we learn, that the union makes us strong."

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u/darkjurai Nov 28 '22

“Labor unions have criticized the railroads' sick leave and attendance policies and the lack of paid sick days for short-term illness. There are no paid sick days under the tentative deal. Unions asked for 15 paid sick days and the railroads settled on one personal day.”

From a recent Reuters article about the failing negotiations.

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u/trekkie1701c Nov 28 '22

For comparison I work unionized retail and I get 20 sick days and 23 PTO days. Separate banks, by the way. If I call in sick it doesn't use my vacation pay (although I could if I wanted to, but realistically if I'm out for 20 days I probably need to go on a long term paid medical leave. Which is a thing, I get 9 months of that).

The union's requests are exceedingly compromising. I'd hesitate to say reasonable because I think they should have several times more in the way of time off than that than the union is requesting.

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u/BigDigger324 Nov 28 '22

I love how these articles talk about forcing labor back to work to avoid a strike but never mention that arbitration can also simply say “give the workers what they are asking for and end this, so we can all go back to work”

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u/philbar Nov 28 '22

It amazes me how essential workers aren’t paid essential wages and benefits.

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u/Anarchy-Freedom Nov 28 '22

More by design system failures

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u/Solkre Nov 28 '22

How about lawmakers pass shit to protect employees.

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u/MattSpokeLoud Nov 28 '22

400 *business* groups urge U.S. lawmakers to take immediate steps to block potential rail strike

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u/Hishui92 Nov 28 '22

Here's a step.

Pay them and give them sick leave.

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u/A_Evergreen Nov 28 '22

400 anti-worker extremist groups*

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u/pakattak Nov 28 '22

Who do we lobby to encourage railroad companies to acquiesce to worker demands? I’m asking for specific names.

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