Railroad workers consider striking over oppressive attendance policy

Tom Buffenbarger, an independent labor voice for America’s Work Force Union Podcast, joined the show to discuss a potential strike by union railroad workers for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Corporation over a restrictive attendance policy.

About 17,000 union workers could be affected.

The new attendance policy, “Hi-Viz,” gives employees a total of 30 points for the rest of their careers, Buffenbarger explained. Employees are docked points for days taken off outside of allocated vacation days — two points for Monday through Thursday, and four points for Friday through Saturday. Sundays are three points and holidays are seven points. If employees burn through their 30 points at any point in their careers, they are fired, losing all retirement benefits and post retirement healthcare.

Buffenbarger said the company should respect the workers who are helping the country get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Burlington Northern Santa Fe is implementing a policy that makes it harder for employees to spend necessary time with their families. This will only lead to worker shortages and further exacerbate supply chain issues, he added.

Lastly, Buffenbarger spoke about President Biden’s accomplishments during his first year in office. He feels Biden has done a lot to mitigate the suffering of working people. The President is being hampered by inflation, which is actually the fault of corporations that failed to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, Buffenbarger added.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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