Reported by Michael Sainato for the Guardian.
Workers are under intense strain amid grueling schedules, union contract negotiations and an arcane attendance policy system
American railroad workers are criticizing a new restrictive attendance policy at one of the largest railroad freight networks in the US, as they experience grueling schedules and labor cuts in the midst of new union contract negotiations, which have hit an impasse, prompting federal mediation.
The Guardian spoke with several railroad trainmen and engineers who requested to remain anonymous as they are prohibited by their employer from speaking to the media.
On 1 February, BNSF Railway, one of the largest railroad freight networks in North America implemented a new point system attendance policy, criticized by workers and unions representing about 17,000 workers, for being more restrictive, incentivizing going to work fatigued or ill, and increasing threats of discipline.
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