Solidarity with Railroad Workers and Affirmation of Right to Strike

Solidarity with Railroad Workers and Affirmation of Right to Strike


WHEREAS, the right to strike is a critical component of collective bargaining calling the question on everyone engaged in the process and balancing the scales between the working class and the corporate elite, and

WHEREAS, since the time workers broadly won the legal right to strike in 1935 in order to promote collective bargaining, the corporate elite and their paid politicians have spent every day trying to take it away – ensuring wildly popular policies among the people can’t get enacted and bringing democracy to the brink of extinction, and

WHEREAS, under the Railway Labor Act contracts become amendable rather than expire. A strike deadline has historically encouraged parties to reach agreement; and

WHEREAS, rail workers who worked through the pandemic are “essential” workers who provided critical service to the entire nation while rail companies raked in profits and negotiations dragged on more than three years; and,

WHEREAS, rail companies have used the greed tool of stock buybacks to send an obscene number of dollars to Wall Street including $25 billion in the last year alone while cutting 45,000 jobs over the last six years creating wild understaffing, forcing long days and greater control over worker schedules while disciplining workers for utilizing sick leave, and

WHEREAS, this disgusting display of greed is exactly why aviation unions together launched the campaign to keep Wall Street from syphoning cash produced off the backs of workers who deserve to share in those profits with good contracts and basic human rights at work; and,

WHEREAS, the hypocritical Rail barons argued during the Presidential Emergency Board process that workers had nothing to do with their profits, while at the same time arguing a strike would shut down their business and the entire economy; and,

WHEREAS, while the Railway Labor Act gives Congress power to intervene, no Congress has ever intervened so far before a strike deadline; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the efforts of Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter DeFazio to force Congress to hear the demands of workers by offering amendments to secure paid sick leave, but shamefully hundreds of members of Congress who have unlimited sick leave sided with the rail barons and voted against including paid sick leave in the Congressionally forced agreement; and

WHEREAS, the action taken undermines the intention of the law to promote collective bargaining and the stability that comes with respecting the worker’s voice and power in our economy. As we’ve seen historically, this will lead to massive instability and chaos absent leadership that upholds collective bargaining and the right to strike; and

WHEREAS, unchecked capitalism has allowed Milton Friedman’s “greed is good” to rule all - killing jobs, companies, and democracy with gross inequality and growing poverty; and

WHEREAS, the government’s job is to clear the way for workers to organize with swift consequences for illegal management interference, and uphold the right to strike as essential to collective bargaining, the only check on unfettered greed; and,

WHEREAS, this world doesn’t run without everyday people. And the people deserve to share the profits.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Executive Board condemns the disgusting greed of the rail companies, the denial of the workers’ right to strike, and we stand firmly in solidarity with the rail workers as their fight is our fight too; and,

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, our union commits to defend our right to strike, stand with all workers in coordinated efforts to put forward clear demands from the working class, and promote organizing Flight Attendants and workers in every workplace to build power for working people to put our agenda at the center of politics and our economy.

Unanimously Adopted

December 6, 2022

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