Archives - Highball Newsletter Articles

We have done our best to separate out and archive all articles that have appeared inn our newsletter - The Highball - since it began in 2008. They are organized year by year, issue by issue below. Enjoy!


Fall 2019

Auto Workers Strike General Motors

Federal Railroad Administration Openly Hostile to Worker Concerns

PSR - Shipper Complaints Up; Freight Traffic and Rail Employment Down

RWU Launches Nationwide Campaign for Rail Labor Unity in Bargaining

RWU Prepares for the Fight to Save the Two Person Crew

The Crew Size Fight - In this Corner, the Rail Carriers; In this Corner, the Workers

Trump Administration Fast Tracks LNG by Rail Despite Safety Concerns

U.S. House Convenes Sub-committee on “All Things Railroad”

Summer 2019

An Open Letter to All Rail Labor Union Officials

Are Rail Union Leaders Able to Harness Rank & File Power? Will They?

FRA Pulls Proposed Two-Person Crew Rule, Preempts State Legislation

Rail Carriers, Wall Street & Labor Unions — Where are YOU in this Equation

RWU Ratchets Up Campaign to Oppose Precision Scheduled Railroading

RWU Revamps Committee Structure, Encourages All Members’ Participation

Safety Board on Amtrak 501 Wreck - Engineer was set up to fail

Spring 2019

A Call to All Rail Unions - Support MLK Day as a Holiday for All Railroaders

Co-workers Raise Funds for Family Members of Those Killed in Western Canada Tragedy

CP Runaway Train Wreck Claims Three - the Latest Casualties of PSR

How Many Rails Need to be Sacrificed at the Altar of Capitalism

New Books on Rail Safety and Rail Labor History Now Available on Sale

Rail Carriers and DOT Conspire to Drop the Ball on ECP Brakes

Railroad Workers United Campaigns Against Precision Scheduled Railroading

RWU Co-Sponsoring National Book Tour to Promote Rail Safety

RWU Takes On Precision Scheduled Railroading

“Solutionary Rail” Project Gains Traction Among Diverse Constituencies

The Edge of Anarchy -The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, & the Greatest Labor Uprising in America

The Green New Deal - What is it and Why Rail Workers Should Support it

The PSR Tragedy for Rail Workers is Also a Tragedy for the Nation as a Whole

Trainmen and Engineers Win Contract, Maintain Two-Person Crews at W&LE

Two-Person Train Crews Legislation Advances in Numerous States

Winter 2019

Amtrak Workers Protest Job Cuts and Contracting Out on Both Coasts

It is High Time for Disgruntled Rails to Stand up and Be Counted

PTC Will Save Lives But Will it Cost Jobs

RR Crew Van Drivers Struggle to Win a Good Contract

RWU Happenings - Fundraiser - Knit Hats - Local Affilation

RWU to Co-Sponsor Book Tour on Rail Safety

The Technological Revolution and the Future of Work

UK Rail Workers and their Unions Fight to Keep the Guard

UP the Latest Railroad to Succumb to PSR


Fall 2018

A Morning with Representatives of Cuban Transportation Workers Trade Union

A Shameful Legacy - “Race” and the Railroad Industry in the United States

Amtrak Workers and Advocates Fight to Save Amtrak – From its own Management

BNSF Engineer Wins Long Sought Whistleblower Settlement

Dan Johnson, Friend and Co-Worker - Killed on the Job

Midwest News - Missouri RTW and Iowa Safety Conference

New Jersey Transit Blames its Overworked Engineers for Commuter Woes

Rail Union Unity Movement Takes Hold Among Rank & File , Officers

Railroad Workers Delegation Tours Cuba, Meets with Counterparts

Railroad Workers Win Victories Against “Driver Only Operations” in the UK

RWU Happenings - New T-shirts and Fundraiser fopr 2018

U.S. Railroaders Get To See Firsthand A Cuban May Day Celebration

We Must Defend Amtrak and Passenger Trains in North America

Summer 2018


Applying the Lessons from this National Bargaining Round

Despite Industry Claims of a Safer Railroad, Workers Continue to Die

Edgar Thompson Foundation Assists Daughters of Railroad Workers

FRA Request for Input on Autonomous Trains Draws Over 3000 Comments

French Railway Workers’ Continued Strike Action - The Concern of All

Railroad Collisions - A Deadly Story of Mismanaged Risk by George Swimmer

RWU International Steering Committee 2018 - 2020

RWU Testifies at OSHA Hearing on Whistleblowers in the Transportation Industries

The Keolis Connection and Why it is Important in the Rail Workers’ Fight

The Profit System's Complete and Total Moral Bankruptcy

U.S. Rail Workers Delegation Meets with Cuban Railroaders

Spring 2018


Amtrak Engineer indicted Once Again in Pennsylvania

FRA Makes Curious Request for Input, Comment on Autonomous Trains

International Rail Workers News - France and UK

It is up to the Rank & File to Push the All Craft Movement Forward!

Kansas City All Rail Crafts Coalition Meets on Workers Memorial Day

Rail Carrier Files Suit Against Employees in  Kentucky Train Wreck

Railroad Workers United Celebrates 10th Anniversary with 6th Convention

The Carriers’ Resistance to Basic Safety Applications Runs Deep

You Railroad Workers! Don’t  Waste Time Mourning  - Organize!



Winter 2018


Amtrak #501 Derails in DuPont, WA - Yet Another Avoidable Wreck

RWU builds Bridges with the Rail Advocacy Community

RWU Happenings

Scapegoated Railroad Workers Acquitted in Lac-Megantic Trial

The Latest in Railroad Recklessness & Irresponsibility - The Super Pool

Track Workers Take the Lead in Protesting the Rail Carriers’ Greed!

What Can the Rank and File do About the Sad State of Rail Labor


Fall 2017


Civil Charges Dropped Against Amtrak Engineer Brandon Bostian

Cross-Craft Rail Workers Coalition Takes Root in Kansas City

CSX Malaise a Catastrophe for Workers, Shippers, and the Nation

CSX Meltdown a Crisis for Shippers, Passengers, Workers and the General Public

New Staff Position Created to Support the Work of RWU

No Single Employee Crews Campaign Takes Off on CN former WC Property

Our Lives are at Risk When Stockholders Demand to Get Rich Quick

Rail Crew Van Drivers Rally for Better Wages, Benefits and a Union

Railroad Workers Labor History Calendar for 2018 Now Available!

Rank & File Workers Build Cross-Craft Coalition of All Rails in Kansas City

RWU Builds for Sixth Convention

The Hunter Harrison “Magic” Good for Stockholders, Bad for Everyone Else



Summer 2017


Amtrak #188 Engineer Indicted in PA for Manslaughter

An Open Letter to Our Allies in the Fight for Safe Rails & a Sustainable Environment

Business as Usual = Defeat. Resist the Status Quo!

Civil Court Trials Set for Railroad Workers in Canada and the U.S.

Railroad Workers Unite in a Cross-Craft Rally Nationwide

Railroad Workers United to Produce2018 Rail Labor History Calendar

Recent Changes to the RWU Steering Committee (ISC)

RWF First Official Fundraiser is a Success but Falls Short of Target

Trackworkers and the “Day of Action” Point the Way Forward for Rail Labor



Spring 2017


Blueprint Budget Would Decimate Amtrak, Transit Nationwide

Korean Workers Lead the Way - Depose President

Rail Labor National Day of Action Planned

Right to Work Legislation would Hurt Rails Too

RR Workers and Our Allies Must Unite to Support Amtrak

RR Workers Have the Moral and Ethical Right to Resist

RR Workers Memorial Day Joins National Day of Action April 28th

RWU Annual Report + Fundraising Drive

There is a Little Lac Megantic in Every Rail Incident Since 2013


Winter 2017


Drastic Times Call for Labor to Once Again Take Industrial Action

FRA Fails to Finalize Rule on Train Crew Staffing by End of Year

Now That the Elections are Over, What is the Way Forward

RWU Website Offer New Info + RWU Winter Hats for Sale

Sleep Apnea a Factor in NJT Wreck

The Fight to Defend Canadian Rails Enters Critical Period

Unite Against Big Business - Stand with Standing Rock

What we Can Learn from Our Fellow Workers in Japan and South Korea


Fall 2016

Canadian Worker Defense Efforts Grow and Develop

Chicago Safety Conference in July 2016

Crew Fatigue - The Elephant in the Room

Do Not Mourn the Loss of Coal - Organize

Railroad Workers Charged and On Trial - It Could be any of Us

RWU Testifies for Two-Person Crews at FRA Hearing in Washington, DC

Train Drivers and Guards in the UK Unite Against Single Employee Crews


Summer 2016

FRA Proposed Rule on Train Crew Staffing Draws a Few Comments

Lac Megantic - Two Fronts in the Fight for Safety

Latest Derailment Stirs New Citizen Opposition to Oil Train Shipments

RR Workers and Our Communities Must Seek Common Ground

RWU to Host Event at UE Hall in Chicago

Safety Board Finding of Amtrak 188 Wreck is Flawed

Whistleblower Delegation Makes Presentation in Washington, DC

Why Are so Many Railroaders Currently Furloughed


Spring 2016

Canadian Rail Industry Boss Defends Not Using Air Brakes to Secure Trains

Convention Adopts Nine Resolutions on a Wide Array of Topics

FRA Proposed Rule Would Enable Trains to Run with Single Member Crews

FRA Publishes Proposed Rule on Train Crew Staffing

New RWU Steering Committee and Alternates for 2016 - 2018

Railroad Workers Memorial Day is Friday, June 16th 2016

RWU 5th Convention Hosts Over a Dozen Workshops and Presentations

RWU Conducts 5th Biennial Convention

RWU Organizes Whistleblowers to Fight Back Against Railroads’ Abuse

RWU Special Envoy on Fact Finding and Solidarity Mission to Quebec

The Role of the Automatic Brake in the Train Wreck at Lac Megantic


Winter 2016

Crude Awakening Holds Founding Conference in Pittsburgh, PA

Fuel Conservation Tech – like PTC – Can Lead to Dangerous Distractions

Furloughed Thanksgiving - A Thank You to UTU#1374 and Railroaders Everywhere

If you Care About Rail Safety You Must Support Tom Harding

Operating Craft Unions Are Helpless as HH Divides and Conquers at CP

Railroad Art and Culture

Shop Workers Overwhelmingly Vote Down Contract at CSX

Special Report - Lac Megantic Citizens Rally Against Unsafe Trains

When Railroad Carriers Threaten to Strike, the State Cowers


Fall 2015

California Outlaws Single Employee Crews

Crew Van Drivers Organize with Rails' Support

Railroad Art & Culture

RWU Plans for 5th Convention

RWU Sponsors Third Rail Safety Conference in Chicago

Unity Democracy and Solidarity now More Than Ever

Yes we are Winning Battles - How to Win the War


Summer 2015

Inward Facing Cameras are Not the Answer

Next Rail Safety Conference Scheduled for Chicago

RWU Convention and ISC Appointments

RWU Observes 7th Railroad Workers Memorial Day

Safe, Sustainable Work Schedules are the Starting Point for Safe Train Ops

Struggle on the Wheeling and Lake Erie Enters Next Phase

The Wreck of Amtrak #188 - Another Needless Tragedy

What Would Eugene Debs do Today

Why There are Train Wrecks and How to Prevent Them


Spring 2015

A Template for Future Conferences and Seminars

Announcing the Railroad Workers Education & Legal Defense Foundation

Building a Labor - Community Alliance Around Rail Safety

Building the Labor - Community Alliance is a Window of Opportunity for Rails

Improving Track Maintenance is the Key to Oil Train Safety

Preparing for the Industry Counterattack on Single Employee Crews

Railroad Workers Bring Safety Conferences to the People

Railroaders and Striking Oil Workers - Allies in the Struggle

The W & LE -- Fighting for All of Us

What Drives the Carriers Relentless Aggression?


Winter 2015

Commentary - Labor and Community Alliance

Letter from England - Train Drivers in the UK Today

Metro North Pledges Safety - But Will They be Law Abiding

National Bargaining Begins in the U.S.

Operating Craft Unions Head Up Bargaining Coalition

RWU Issues 2014 Annual Report

RWU to Co-Sponsor Conferences on the West Coast

Signs of Life from the Rank & File -- Now Let Us Build a Movement


Fall 2014

Summer 2014

Spring 2014

Winter 2014


Fall 2013

Summer 2013

Spring 2013

Winter 2013


Fall 2012

Summer 2012

Spring 2012

Winter 2012


Fall 2011

Summer 2011

Spring 2011

Winter 2011


Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Spring 2010

Winter 2010


Fall 2009

Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Winter 2009


Fall 2008

Summer 2008

Spring 2008

Winter 2008