1 min read

Season 5, Episode 20

Improvement to the rail industry is the focus for BMWE in 2024



Guest Name:

Tony Cardwell

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, Tony Cardwell, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about the issues with the main rail companies and how their actions help create a staffing shortage in the rail industry. Cardwell also talked about the win for workers as a majority now receive paid sick leave.

Many railroad lines were built in the 1800s, and tracks have been repaired over time, but the same companies that began operations with the development of national railroads still run the industry. According to Cardwell, the rail companies that operate the largest number of trains continue to self-govern with little interference from the U.S. government. The understaffing of the operators of rail engines has worsened year-after-year as the rail companies continue to cut the workforce despite posting record profits.

The actions of the rail companies has created a growing concern that another incident similar to the East Palestine derailment from Feb. 2023 will occur. As workers are eliminated, important safety and inspection tasks go undone. Cardwell said members work 60-80 hours per week due to the understaffing issues. The safety of the workers and the areas around the railroads are being put in greater danger after every round of layoffs.

After many years of workers not receiving paid sick leave, 2023 was the breakthrough for workers. Now every major railroad, except Canada Pacific Railway, provides their workers with 10 days of paid sick leave. Cardwell talked about the issues with Canada Pacific’s policies and how they are working to improve workers quality of life in 2024.

Listen to the show above to learn more about the issues and new projects for BMWE.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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