U.S. Rail, Freight Avert Strike with Tenuous Deal, Stakes Painfully Clear

A raw look at why a 60,000-employee railroad strike was warranted and why the White House averting it saves U.S. from complete meltdown of supply chain and the economy.

B. Roxy Rogers
11 min readSep 15, 2022


Rail station photo courtesy of Soumyadip Sarkar, Unsplash

Ready to Boil All Your Water — For Weeks or Months?

The rails carry almost 40% of the freight that feeds the supply chain that services the U.S. While that figure might appear bearable for a short period of time and you might be thinking, 40% is not all that terrible, so ‘what’s the big deal?’.

Well, consider first that most of the water supplies throughout the U.S., including the one you might be drinking, bathing with, and brushing teeth with right now, must use chlorine to keep safe that water.

Photo courtesy of Joe Pregadio, Unsplash

You see, most chlorine is shipped via rail freight and a supply chain interruption of 40% via rail could mean that every state in the nation would receive emergency alerts to boil all water for drinking and bathing within days of any strike — potentially for weeks or months. A sobering thought.

More Than Wages at Stake — This is About Living

Railroad employees have experienced years without a contract while on-call 24 x 7 x 365 and have virtually no time off when a medical issue arises. Vacation time has to be scheduled, so no, that cannot be used for doctor’s appointments or medical needs unless your appointment for a medical problem can be forecast weeks in advance, and time can’t be taken off without losing critical points within the system in which more than 60,000 employees participate. Not to mention, if you’re in a smaller group of employees on-call in your geographic area, your choices and time-off scheduling can be much tighter.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

The impact of this situation on many families whose breadwinners have worked for the railroad for decades…



B. Roxy Rogers