put the blame on the greedy owners

Just a quick post to point out the obvious thing that is somehow being completely overlooked. It’s not the railroad workers who are threatening to destroy the US economy, it’s the railroad OWNERS.

Have you ever been sick? Almost certainly yes. Did you know in advance you were going to be sick? Maybe, but usually not. Did you ever miss work because you were sick? Probably. Should you be forced to go to work when you’re sick? Hell no.

Most employers allow their workers a certain number of days in which they can call in sick. Most employers would rather you stay home when you’re sick rather than come to work and either infect other workers or spend the day shuffling between your work and the toilet.

Right now, railroad workers don’t get any sick days. None. Zero. They’re allowed to take vacation days if they’re sick BUT they have schedule their vacation days in advance. That’s fine if you’re scheduling surgery (SPOILER: No, it’s NOT fine to be forced to spend your holiday having surgery, I mean Jesus suffering fuck, people), but you can’t schedule the flu or tripping and breaking your arm. Sometimes random shit just happens.

The obvious question is: Why in hell won’t railroad companies give their workers sick leave?

The obvious answer is: Greed.

Look, the railroads can afford to give their workers sick leave. There are seven major North American railway companies. Last year they had a combined net income of US$27 billion. During the pandemic, the railroad industry used the funds provided by the government to buy back about $125 billion of its own stock. These fuckers are rolling in dough.

The 115,000 railroad workers without sick leave make a decent wage or a decent salary, but they’re NOT rolling in dough. And sometimes they get sick or hurt and need a day off to go see a goddamned doctor. They ought to be able to do that without fear of losing their job or having their wages cut. Railroad work is hard, tough, often dangerous work; they deserve better than this.

The same is true of every worker. Yet there are LOTS of employers who refuse to offer paid sick leave. Most of these involve low hourly wage workers, the people who most need paid sick leave, who can least afford to take an unpaid day off work. The railway owners may be the most egregious greedheads in the news today, but about 20% of the US labor force–say about 33 million workers–don’t have access to paid sick leave. The US is the ONLY developed country that refuses to offer guaranteed sick leave.

So when you read about a possible railroad strike crippling the US economy, remember that it’s the greedy motherfuckers who own the railroads who are at fault. Not the workers.

11 thoughts on “put the blame on the greedy owners

  1. Damn straight. So fed up with the heartless unrelenting greed. Republicans voting against sick days. Let those mofo’s try to earn a living wage and have no paid sick days. Greed, selfishness, lack of empathy. I just… gah.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many of my family members worked for the railroad. They fought for every penny to increase their income and benefits. They stood on the strike lines to paralyze the use of the railway. Every benefit they won should never be taken away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They tell us the nation’s economy depends on railroad workers. And it does. So why do we treat them so shabbily? And why do we reward the railroad owners who’ve intentionally created a system that oppresses those workers? Where is the fucking logic in that?

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  3. I’ve been observing jousting on another platform (heh) with a poster who insists the workers already have plenty of sick leave and they’re greedy for wanting more. Claims they already have 10 or 12 days and that no one needs more sick leave than that. When challenged with “but is it paid?” and “if you have to schedule it then it isn’t sick leave” the response is full of … well, bs and distraction. The big two:
    He “knows someone” whose whole job is covering for other railroad workers taking time off and it’s such a trial for them to take a plane and then rent a car for a five hour trip to their assignment. But she loves her work, so I guess the railroad is great?
    And if they are sick long enough to need more sick leave there is long term leave available.
    I couldn’t find the numbers to back up or to refute his claims, but what I found **suggests** that there *might* be a few days of unpaid leave available, but to get time off it does need to be scheduled in advance.
    I suggested that if scheduling is that tight then maybe the railroad needs to hire enough workers to ensure adequate coverage allowing for people getting sick.
    Bastage came back with “people take sick leave when they aren’t really sick, they just want to goof off” for the day instead of working. The “some people ruin it for everyone” argument.
    I just can’t even.

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    • Miserable people often want to be sure everybody is as miserable as they are. Fuck those people.

      It’s true, though, that sometimes people will call in sick and go to a baseball game. GOOD FOR THEM. Odds are they’ll go back to work the next day feeling more refreshed and happy. Happy is good. We should all want workers to be happy. And healthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did exactly that. My father-in-law was Jim Thome’s high school coach. In May 1998, my father-in-law had not seen in play professionally in person, so I took a day off and we drove to see him play in Kansas City. We arrived early for batting practice and being Kansas City in the ’90s, the stands were empty. As soon as he came out of the dugout to take some swings, we began yelling his name. The instant Jim recognized my father-in-law, he exclaimed, “Oh, my God! What the hell are you doing here?!?” I was so happy to be a witness to that moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • In a just society, workers should be given health days as well as sick days. Everybody should have the right to periodically call up their place of employment and say, “I’m taking a health day; I feel too good to come to work.”

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