The Times podcast: Why the U.S. clamps down on rail strikes

Alexandria, Virginia freight train
A CSX freight train travels through Alexandria, Va.
(Kevin Wolf / Associated Press)

This week, Congress passed a bill that effectively imposed an agreement between rail workers and their companies and prohibited a strike. Politicians feared that any work stoppage would cripple the U.S. economy for the holidays, costing the country billions of dollars.

Today, we talk about the unique, violent history of rail workers trying to fight for better union contracts. Read the full transcript here.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: University of Rhode Island history professor Erik Loomis

More reading:

Senate moves to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

Biden calls on Congress to head off potential rail strike

Big rail unions split on contract deal with railroads, raising possibility of a strike

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistants are Roberto Reyes and Nicolas Perez. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.

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