“I support the right to rebel against exploitation”: More workers declare their solidarity with US railroaders

Over the past week, the World Socialist Web Site and the Railroad Workers Rank-and-File Committee have received dozens of statements from workers around the world expressing support and solidarity for US railroaders, following last week’s passage of a bipartisan law imposing a contract which workers rejected.

A BNSF rail terminal worker monitors the departure of a freight train, on June 15, 2021, in Galesburg, Ill. [AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar]

Biden and congressional Democrats shed crocodile tears as they rammed through the deal with record speed, claiming that banning strike action was necessary to protect “working families.” But these letters show that workers support the railroaders, not Washington. Many even said they would support strike action against the contract and pledged to do whatever they could to support it.

We produce a section of these statements below. Send your comments either by filling out the form at the bottom of this article, or by email the RWRFC at railwrfc@gmail.com .

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Danny from Chicago, Illinois: I am not a rail union member, but I am an office employee who stands in solidarity with my fellow workers. This is a disgusting insult against working people everywhere, and the government has made a grave mistake in choking the rights of rail unions. This is wrong, plain and simple. Labor rights are what keep people safe from greed and injustice. Power always to my fellow workers—stay strong. I will always support you.

Jose from Anaheim, California: I stand in solidarity with all railroad workers wanting an equitable, livable and dignified contract.

Jill from Seattle, Washington: I stand 100 percent with the railroad workers and would support their decision to do a wildcat strike if they determine that is the way forward. The unions are just as guilty as the rail companies, Congress, and the President in forcing the rail workers to work against their will with a contract they did not want and in several cases did not approve.

Jeff: This is absolutely outrageous and proof positive that there is no ‘left’ in this country. Only red and blue paid-for puppets.

Andrew from Tucson, Arizona: With their sweet talk they promise us the world but leave us crumbs. We ask for a fraction and they make more bombs. There is no war but class war!

Matthew from Maryland: Congress’s action further solidifies how apart the systems of government stand from the desires of their constituents. I support all workers’ rights to rebel against authoritarianism and exploitation, and I am hopeful that a wildcat strike not only cripples our national economy, but that it also bankrupts the exploitative elites who have been rapaciously profiting off the backs of an overly-exploited but fed-up proletariat. Solidarity forever!

Mary from Westchester County, New York: All workers deserve paid sick leave! And all workers should have the right to strike for better conditions.

Spencer from Buffalo, New York: We need a nationwide strike disregarding the corrupt Biden administration and his congressional lackeys. The Democrats are not your friend! Strike to get rid of the Railway Labor Act. The strike is the only power workers have.

Jonathan from Hampshire, England: We’re standing with you. Solidarity from the UK.

Juana from Port Arthur, Texas: I support railroad workers. I support union members.

A Michigan Medicine worker: Let me just say what’s on my mind. If Congress makes the decision for you without a fight, it will then set a precedent that they can do it to any union.

I have been following that whole thing. It is dictatorial. Why would you want a union connected with the government? Like the Michigan Medicine nurses, the union called it a victory with their contract.

Stephen from Palm Beach, Florida: Interested in seeing if you will ‘call in sick.’

Alex from New York City: Y’all, I just read your most recent resolution and can I just say I’m moved by your courage and clarity of conviction in the face of corporate greed. Everyone I know would be excited and motivated if and when you all choose to strike. I think it could be the spark that we need to light an uncontrollable fire, fueled by our love for each other.

We have the power! All power to the people!


Nathan: I don’t know what I can do, but I want to stand with the real workers in our country. Congress is out of line and the things they are planning to enforce are disgusting. People deserve more in life and work than what our government is doing in the current environment.

Jimmy from Liverpool: I send all American Railroad workers, and American workers in general, my heartfelt solidarity, support, and political commitment. Your fight against the US capitalist class and its poodle politicians is the fight of workers everywhere.

The right to strike is a fundamental human right, and the attempt by the US President and Congress to deny you the right to strike is the thin end of a wedge that leads to capitalist military/police dictatorship and fascism. Wage slavery is horrific enough without being told by the slaveowners you have no right to protest against poverty wages and draconian conditions of work.

If this scandalous “law” framed by the US Boss Class as a whole is allowed to stand, [it will have] catastrophic implications for workers throughout the USA, and beyond. Already, here in capitalist Britain similar anti-strike laws are being prepared for use against striking British workers.

I wish you every success in your legitimate fight against the US capitalist class. Your victory will be a victory for the world working class. Similarly, any defeat of your struggle will be a defeat for workers everywhere. Workers of the World: Unite!

Anonymous from Georgia: I’m a self-employed flower farmer and artist in Georgia and I support the rail workers 1,000,000 percent. My husband is a slave to the Toyota Automotive Compressor factory here in Georgia. They also have [a difficult] attendance policy and there are no excuses for unplanned absences. You could literally be dying and you’d still get penalized for missing work. He ran out of ‘allowed’ time off months ago and has gone to work sick countless times. A girl got her foot stuck in a conveyor belt a few weeks ago and they had maintenance run out and clean up the blood and tighten all the loose screws on the conveyor covers. The ambulance took her away screaming in pain.

I’m sick and tired of Democrats’ sham pandering to the working class. This contract issue put their priorities right on the table. They lost 2 Warnock votes in Georgia because of it. I’m furious with Democrats in DC and I’m also furious with well-off Democrats in general who assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. They don’t permit dissent and act like they’re moral patriots when all they care about is getting their expensive coffees and Amazon deliveries.

Chris: Workers all across the country will support you [if you wildcat]. Only a few politicians will. Screw them. Show your strength.

Evan, an Alaska Airlines worker: I and others in our group disagree with what Congress has done and we are curious how we can be of assistance.