Saturday, May 3, 2014

RWU Resolution in Support of Dignity & Respect

 RWU Resolution in Support of Dignity & Respect 

Whereas, all working people deserve dignity and respect on the job; and 

Whereas, unions have historically been the means by which workers have collectively banded together to 
defend their dignity and to win respect of their employers; and 

Whereas, the North American rail carriers have undertaken a concerted effort in recent years to demean 
and degrade rail workers along with their sense of dignity; and 

Whereas, this effort by the rail carriers includes but is not limited to: 

 Constant surveillance upon and interference with railroad workers in the course of their daily duties; 
 A major increase in discipline for all sorts of “infractions”, both in number of workers disciplined and 
in the severity of the discipline meted out; 
 A record number of firings and terminations; 
 Harassment and reprisal taken against workers who report injuries; 
 Failure to abide by OSHA findings when cited by the regulatory agency for violations; 
 Implementation of draconian attendance policies which restrict workers from taking needed time off 
work and which call for harsh discipline if/when a worker violates such a policy; 
 Relentless violation of the union agreement, accompanied by endless denials of claims; 
 Blaming workers for every accident and injury rather than fixing the underlying hazards. 

Whereas these attacks are detrimental to our mental and physical health, make for a stressful, dangerous 
and unsafe work environment, erode our sense of self-worth and endanger union solidarity; and 

Whereas, constantly responding to discipline and “individual” problems on an individual basis diverts union 
resources -- in terms of time, energy and finances – into a defensive posture, eroding the power and 
effectiveness of the union; and 

Whereas, since these attacks are universal and involve the entire railroad workforce, it must be met with a 
concerted defense by the collective effort of the workforce; 

Whereas, filing paper – whether it be claims, grievances, complaints, whistleblower complaints, etc. – is an 
important tactic but is clearly not enough to deter the carriers from escalating this wholesale attack; 

Therefore, be it resolved that Railroad Workers United (RWU) condemns this arrogant and despicable 
attack by the rail carriers upon our dignity, integrity and solidarity; and 

Be it further resolved that RWU calls on all railroaders to resist this universal attack by creative means; 

Be it further resolved that RWU calls upon the union leadership to acknowledge the reality of this 
omnipresent situation and commit resources to organizing their membership to fight this scourge; and 

Be it finally resolved that RWU constitute a Committee on Workers’ Dignity & Respect that will identify 
and address issues that demean and degrade workers. 

This Resolution adopted at the Fourth Biennial RWU Convention 
April 3rd
 & 4th, 2014 Chicago, Illinois 

Railroad Workers United 

Unity—Solidarity—Democracy: The Rank and File in Action! 
(206) 984-3051  PO Box 1053, Salem, IL 62881 

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