Baltimore supports railroad workers’ right to paid sick leave

SLL photo: Sharon Black

December 8 — A rush-hour protest in downtown Baltimore showed support for railroad workers under attack. The newly formed Ad Hoc Committee To Support Railroad Workers called the action.

Protesters expressed their outrage at the railroad bosses for refusing to pay workers sick pay and at Biden and Congress for the “no strike law” that bars workers from walking out.

Cindy Farquhar, a local activist who emceed the action, exclaimed, “The railroad industry is the most profitable sector in the U.S. today. We in Baltimore will not roll over when they attack unions — rail workers deserve a decent job.” 

Sharon Black, a local Amazon warehouse worker who came straight from work, proclaimed, “We need a union at our warehouse, and I am here today to show support for the railroad workers.”

A group from the newly founded union, Pratt Workers United, attended and spoke. Ellie McCrow stated, “We are here to say no to government strikebreaking and that all workers have a right to a union.”

Maximillian Alvarez, the editor-in-chief of the Real News Network, pointed out that the railroad industry should be publicly owned.

Other union and community representatives participated, including the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME); Unemployed Workers Union; Peoples Power Assembly; American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE); and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 24.

Passing motorists honked in support, and two members of the Airline Pilots Association stopped to thank protesters, explaining that they are up against the same thing.

Baltimore is the city where the Great Railroad Strike was launched in 1877. The Maryland governor used armed troops to attempt to crush it, murdering 22 railroad workers.

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