September 14, 2022

Moulton Statement on Looming National Railroad Strike

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Seth Moulton released the following statement the ongoing negotiations between rail unions and railroad management. If no solution is agreed to this week, the first national rail strike in 30 years could start early Friday.

"The looming national railroad strike could cost our already fragile economy two billion dollars a day. Forty percent of goods that are shipped long-distance across the U.S. travel by rail. That includes 1/3 of our grain exports, half of all U.S. fertilizer, and over 3/4 of finished vehicles traveling from factories to dealerships. Reliable rail service is particularly essential for farmers with fall harvest around the corner, as the value of produce and grain will decline drastically with service stoppages.

The unions’ fundamental demands are reasonable, including allowing their members to attend routine medical appointments without jeopardizing their employment. The railroads cannot run their employees into the ground in the name of profits, as they are already doing to shippers around the country. This is important context for this debate: The new, Wall Street-driven practice of “precision scheduled railroading” has been a disaster for customers, employees, and the long-term health of the industry. Only wealthy investors have benefited.

It’s time for our nation’s railroads to return to a culture of service and excellence that grows their long-term business. The immediate goal should now be for negotiators to remain at the table and work toward an agreement that avoids a strike, before it is too late. Congress can get involved if this impasse is not resolved, but the ball is in the railroads’ court, and their reputation as an industry is at stake."