Crawdads and Taters

Off the Rails: The Corporate Duopoly Betrays Railroad Workers

todayJanuary 26, 2023

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In this first episode of 2023, in the midst of ongoing US wars, pandemics and record inflation, we take a deep look at “the railroad strike that wasn’t” in December 2022. In this US political moment, we see an uptick of strikes, walkouts and labor organizing inside the United States. And we feel it’s crucial to hear from railroad workers directly in order to understand their working conditions, as well as the role the US government played in shutting down this strike- stripping workers of their democratic rights. 

We take you through the timeline of railroad negotiations over the last three years, looking closely at the Biden Administration’s use of the 1926 Railway Act as a strike-breaking tool, in the service of multi-billionaire railway carriers, lobbyists and their CEO’s. In a time of record-breaking profits for the railway industry, we look at the basic demands of workers- a handful of paid sick time days that were denied to them through a bipartisan consensus.

We also take a lens to the corporate media’s coverage of the railroad issue and examine its intensely corporate bias, as it relentlessly warns of economic disaster should workers strike, yet never reports on workers’ demands. 

Finally, we discuss the role of neoliberalism and the bipartisan betrayal of workers as a real political force pushing the country toward fascism. We hear from other socialists about the powerful history of US railroad strikes and what must be done today in terms of the labor movement and electoral politics in order to stop a fascist uprising and revitalize the labor movement inside the United States. 

As always, we bring you this analysis from a socialist perspective, and we very much depend on your subscriptions to continue this podcast. Please become a patron today at

Reading Notes:

We Rise Fighting Episode 21: Interview w/ Marilee Taylor of Railroad Workers United

Fake Populists See A Real Opportunity

PEB 250 – Report and Recommendations

Global capitalism, global police state

“Enough Is Enough”: Rail Workers Decry Biden’s Push to Impose Strike-Breaking Labor Deal | Democracy Now!

[Audio] The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 | NYC Marxist School 2022 – Socialist Revolution

Railroad Workers United Statement

Bad Faith: Episode 233 – Fraud Squad? (w/Kshama Sawant & Ryan Grim)

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