Dear RWU Members & Supporters:
Please see the attached resolution and circulate widely. This Resolution was adopted by the RWU Executive Committee at a special meeting on 9/21/13, and outlines why this struggle is so important and what we need to do to win. As you are probably aware the engineers and trainmen on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway have been battling against single employee operations of trains in recent months. They are on the front lines of this vital struggle on behalf of all of us. Last week, the workers went out on strike and shut the railroad down until ordered back to work by a federal judge.
The struggle continues. Let's commit ourselves to do all that we can to ensure that the brothers and sisters on the W&LE win this fight!
RWU Support for W&LE Workers
Whereas the single employee crew issue is one of the most important questions facing rail labor; and
Whereas RWU has pledged since our Founding Convention in 2008 to do all in our power to oppose the idea of single employee crews; and
Whereas, the UTU and the BLET leadership have both recently come out in favor of a national campaign to stop the practice of single employee train crews; and
Whereas, the great potential dangers of single crew operations have been highlighted by recent events in Lac Megantic, Quebec; and
Whereas the workers on the Wheeling & Lake Erie (W&LE) have been fighting against single employee crew designs of their employer for a number of years now; and
Whereas these engineers and trainmen on the W&LE have gone on strike to defend the two-person crew and oppose the W&LE use of single employee crews; and
Whereas it is vital that these fellow workers win this struggle and show not just the W&LE but the other rail carriers as well that union labor will not tolerate train operations with a lone employee; and
Whereas the struggle of these brothers and sisters has ramifications for engineers and trainmen and ALL railroad workers throughout North America; their fight is our fight!
Therefor be it Resolved that Railroad Workers United pledges our unwavering solidarity and assistance—morally, physically and materially – in whatever way possible to assist these brave workers to win this struggle; and
Be it Further Resolved, that we call on the leadership of both the UTU and the BLET to make good on their promise to “lead a national campaign” against single employee crews by doing all in their power to assist these workers, including but not limited to: personally showing up and walking the picket line; activating their respective “mobilization” networks; providing material strike benefits and support; and publicizing the strike far and wide; and
Be it Finally Resolved that RWU calls on all railroad workers -- especially those in geographical proximity -- to join the picket line, to bring material aid and assistance and otherwise support the workers on the W&LE.
Adopted by the RWU Executive Committee 9/21/13