Thursday, October 06, 2011

Railroad Strike Threatened, No News?

News flash, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have threatened to walk off the job at midnight tonight, possibly paralyzing the nation's railroads if the Obama administration doesn't appoint a Presidential Emergency Board to stop it. There is almost zero national coverage.

Yeah, the explanation is that the administration probably will send it to a board, but isn't it still newsworthy? If airline pilots were in the same boat would the press ignore it?

Obama spent the day demonizing bankers and tacitly approving the quasi-Marxist protesters occupying Wall St. He even had a "rare" presser today but the baby bird media didn't have a chance to ask about it, even if they desired, due to his use of the filibuster in answering about six questions over an hour. Better to spend the time with the usual litany of blame shifting towards the Tea Party, Europe, Arab protesters, weather events and Bush.

Here's the Brotherhood:
“It is unfortunate that, in this time of record industry profits, the carriers insist upon attempting to take advantage of a weakened general economy to further line its corporate pockets at the expense of the railroad workers whose labor generates those profits,” Pierce said. “And it is shameful that the carriers have chosen to specifically target those railroad workers who are most vulnerable — older workers and the sick and injured — to shoulder a disproportionate share of the demanded givebacks.”
That's right up Obama's alley! Well, except for the fact these guys already have jobs and are wanting more. So he'll likely be forced to create the emergency board to in effect shut down their strike because a railroad stoppage during the peak shipping season and during a down economy would be devastating to Recovery Summer (which has suddenly become Crisis Autumn, or pass this damn bill now you wingnuts--or we'll turn more hipster protesters loose on capitalism).

MORE 10/7/11

Not that this story and it's predictable conclusion should have been big news, but the only coverage seems local from one Kansas City paper. Threatened transportation strikes used to garner at least a few national headlines. Can't decide whether that had something to do with railroads being almost invisible in this country anymore or that the big media didn't want to embarrass the president for having to shut down a union strike, or report that the BLE members were not satisfied with a 17 percent raise proposal.

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