On Jan 8 a federal judge sided with the Union Pacific railroad to block a strike to protect rail employees’ health and safety. The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters moved toward the job action under the Railroad Safety Act, to demand adequate Covid-19 protections for the workers who build and maintain the tracks and right of way.
BMWED Vice President Jed Dodd stated that “We are very disappointed with Judge Buescher’s decision and believe that it will lead to more COVID-19 infections and death in our membership on the Union Pacific Railroad. It is infuriating that as essential workers required to go to work he found that COVID-19 was not life threatening. We have four dead members on Union Pacific Railroad and nearly 1,000 infected who would disagree. Union Pacific would rather protect their obscene profits instead of taking all reasonable measures to protect us from this terrible disease on the job and they have themselves a Judge who values their profits over our health and safety.”