National Single Payer Supports Nationalizing Railroads
The health and safety of our nation is in crisis from our healthcare system, the environment, and transportation. The same corporate forces that are privatizing and decimating our healthcare delivery system are also in control of our railroads. Train derailments, environmental catastrophes, unsafe working conditions, weakened safety rules, less freight on the rails, downsized infrastructure and physical plant capacity are just a few of the negative effects that unbridled corporate control has brought to the railroads.
The rail industry under corporate domination can not meet the freight and passenger needs of today’s society. Instead of expanding rail transportation, it is contracting, moving 5-10% less freight than sixteen years ago. It also is hostile to proposals to expand passenger trains on their tracks – despite legal obligations – making expanded passenger rail difficult if not impossible.
Its strategies are inimical to the public interest. Profits are at record levels in good years and bad. But instead of investing in the long term health of the industry, it has engaged in huge stock buybacks to boost short term profits. Infrastructure maintenance has been cut, health and safety is at risk, and morale is so low it has produced an unheard of situation where workers can not be recruited or retained.
The USA faces crumbling infrastructure, decimated highways and roads, and poor air and water quality. Expanded rail networks for freight and passengers is in the public interest but can not move forward due to the private ownership of the industry.
Railroad Workers United, a coalition of workers in the various rail unions, has issued a call for labor, environmental and social justice organizations to join in demanding the nationalization of rail infrastructure in the public interest. National Single Payer supports this call, because as in healthcare, profit cannot take precedence over public safety.
Together we need to grow a broad movement that unites workers and the public to provide the leadership necessary to win victories in the public interest.
We encourage you to support this effort.
National Single Payer Steering Committee February 24, 2023
Ana Malinow, MD, Organizer
Sandy Fox, LCSW
Judy Albert, MD
Claire Cohen, MD