Click here for the full interview with locomotive engineer Michael Paul Lindsey and host of Working People Maximillian Alvarez.
Congress and Joe Biden are pushing through a contract backed by the rail companies and rejected by workers. Michael Paul Lindsey, a locomotive engineer for Union Pacific, and Maximillian Alvarez, editor in chief of the Real News Network and host of the podcast Working People, join us to explain why this standoff is a dangerous step backward for all working people.
“The rail carriers are going to take it as a sign that they can keep doing what they’re doing and we are all going to be worse off for it.” For the rail workers, this has included denying even a single sick day.
“Gradually over the years they got tighter and tighter and stingier until it became you’re straight up asking for permission. They believe that they own a right to your life 24/7.”
And ‘Union Joe’ Biden, who calls himself a pro-labor president, continues to side with the companies.
“This is what happens when the reigning philosophy is to eliminate the cost of treating your workers like human beings. If you treat workers like faceless meatbags and no one stops you, you can exploit the shit out of them.”
And corporate media, doing what it does best, all but blames the workers, warning viewers that a rail strike could mean economic catastrophe and cripple the economy — ignoring the crippling conditions the workers face.
During the interview, news broke that a Congressional proposal for seven sick days, a meek bill that would do the bare minimum to help workers, would fail.
Michael Paul, who’s worked 17 years for the rail industry, laments: “Anyone who works for a living just lost ground on better pay and benefits. You lost today.”
So how do we fight for workers’ rights?
“This is such a systemic problem for working people and we cannot rely on politicians to just bequeath us some sort of solution to this. Working people need to band together and assert their needs as an independent working class.”
Subscribe for the full interview with Michael Paul and Max.
Plus, catch this week’s Thursday Throwdown on how the US decides to censor itself (but only when it accidentally tells the truth).
It’s all this, and more, on this week’s episode of Useful Idiots. Check it out.
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