Pandemic supply chain in your area

H

Hooked on Fenix

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,661
This isn't going to help matters. 17,000 union employees for BNSF Railway are planning to strike on February 1 when a new policy goes into effect that makes it difficult for them to get any real time off of work. The company is trying to block the strike in court, but there is nothing to keep the employees from quitting instead if the company wins the lawsuit. This can dramatically make our supply chain issues worse if we can't get goods transported efficiently by rail. Here's the article: https://www.kfyrtv.com/2022/01/20/17000-union-employees-bnsf-prepare-strike/
Here's some information about the company. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNSF_...the electricity produced in the United States.
Some of the information is kind of scary, like they haul enough coal to produce 25% of the electricity in the U.S.
 
Last edited:
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
This isn't going to help matters. 17,000 union employees for BNSF Railway are planning to strike on February 1 when a new policy goes into effect that makes it difficult for them to get any real time off of work. The company is trying to block the strike in court, but there is nothing to keep the employees from quitting instead if the company wins the lawsuit. This can dramatically make our supply chain issues worse if we can't get goods transported efficiently by rail. Here's the article: https://www.kfyrtv.com/2022/01/20/17000-union-employees-bnsf-prepare-strike/
Here's some information about the company. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNSF_Railway#:~:text=BNSF Railway. According to corporate press releases, the,of the electricity produced in the United States.
Some of the information is kind of scary, like they haul enough coal to produce 25% of the electricity in the U.S.
I'm not scared. Pres Reagan replaced air traffic controllers Biden can replace them.
 
turbodog

turbodog

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,750
Location
Southern USA
I tend to side with BNSF. They have invested hundreds of millions into equipment/maintenance/etc since 2000, with a commensurate drop in accidents. My faith would be that the new policy is in line with improving on-time deliveries, cost, responsiveness, and safety.
 
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
Just to be clear, I am typically pro union, but when it comes to national security, Unions have to be careful because the President holds the absolute trump card, and can bust them like Reagan did. With that thought in mind, it takes a LOT to get me nervous about alarmist threats. I didn't like it when Reagan did it, but he did reduce any fear I may have had, that the country can be so threatened.
 
J

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,499
Location
Flushing, NY
This isn't going to help matters. 17,000 union employees for BNSF Railway are planning to strike on February 1 when a new policy goes into effect that makes it difficult for them to get any real time off of work. The company is trying to block the strike in court, but there is nothing to keep the employees from quitting instead if the company wins the lawsuit. This can dramatically make our supply chain issues worse if we can't get goods transported efficiently by rail. Here's the article: https://www.kfyrtv.com/2022/01/20/17000-union-employees-bnsf-prepare-strike/
Here's some information about the company. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BNSF_Railway#:~:text=BNSF Railway. According to corporate press releases, the,of the electricity produced in the United States.
Some of the information is kind of scary, like they haul enough coal to produce 25% of the electricity in the U.S.
A couple of thoughts on this in no particular order:

1) Not a fan of so-called points systems for attendance if they penalize employees for taking time off they're legally entitled to. Fact is workers aren't robots. If a company insists on not giving people adequate time off, expect regular turnover as people quit when they get burned out. Amazon already knows this, and apparently is OK with it. However, it's far easier to replace a warehouse worker than a railroad worker. It takes YEARS to learn how to safely operate trains. I don't want fatigued employees operating freight trains potentially carrying hazardous chemicals. That's a disaster waiting to happen. For that matter I don't want fatigued employees operating trucks or buses, either.

2) Not sure if the union announcement on this is hyperbole or not. I don't know how much time off BNSF employees actually get and/or if they regularly abused the system. So there's a chance BNSF could be in the right here.

3) This will be settled one way or another before it leads to a strike. Whether BNSF is right or wrong, they'll be the scapegoat in a lot of people's minds if the power goes out due to lack of coal. And their stock price will drop as a result.

4) Sure, the workers could up and quit if they don't get what they want. If these were Amazon warehouse workers they can be replaced relatively quickly and easily. However, they're skilled people in very specialized jobs. Their replacements will take a long time to train (no pun intended). If large numbers quit, this is going to disrupt things for many months, perhaps years. So again, BNSF isn't going to let it happen. It'll be a black eye for them.
 
J

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,499
Location
Flushing, NY
Just to be clear, I am typically pro union, but when it comes to national security, Unions have to be careful because the President holds the absolute trump card, and can bust them like Reagan did. With that thought in mind, it takes a LOT to get me nervous about alarmist threats. I didn't like it when Reagan did it, but he did reduce any fear I may have had, that the country can be so threatened.
I'm not nervous about this either, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. The consequences of a strike or large numbers of workers quitting are too large for BNSF to let it happen.

I'm generally pro-worker, but here a strike could literally bring the country to a standstill. And railroad workers are VERY well compensated for their trouble. The President holds the trump card here, but I suspect things will be resolved before he needs to intervene.
 
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
I'm not nervous about this either, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. The consequences of a strike or large numbers of workers quitting are too large for BNSF to let it happen.

I'm generally pro-worker, but here a strike could literally bring the country to a standstill. And railroad workers are VERY well compensated for their trouble. The President holds the trump card here, but I suspect things will be resolved before he needs to intervene.
Union workers QUITTING! Especially for a Union that has been around for as long as they have been? That's hilarious. :crackup:
 
J

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,499
Location
Flushing, NY
Union workers QUITTING! Especially for a Union that has been around for as long as they have been? That's hilarious. :crackup:
I'm not seeing that happening, either. Working on the railroad is a coveted job, with great pay and a great pension. Sure, it's grueling also, but you know that going in.
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,661
The problem is that this possible railway strike is a canary in the coal mine. Companies across the U.S. are short handed in their workforce so they are coming up with creative ways to make their remaining workers work more hours to compensate. This is causing workers to get exhausted and fed up and it’s only a matter of time before they strike, quit, or give up working for a time (they need a vacation). This won’t be the last company to deal with this problem. As for how it is handled, the courts could side with the company but it won’t fix the problem, that the workers are fatigued, they aren’t robots who can work without sleep, there aren’t enough of them, and there is nobody qualified to replace them immediately.
 
J

jtr1962

Flashaholic
Joined
Nov 22, 2003
Messages
6,499
Location
Flushing, NY
The problem is that this possible railway strike is a canary in the coal mine. Companies across the U.S. are short handed in their workforce so they are coming up with creative ways to make their remaining workers work more hours to compensate. This is causing workers to get exhausted and fed up and it’s only a matter of time before they strike, quit, or give up working for a time (they need a vacation). This won’t be the last company to deal with this problem. As for how it is handled, the courts could side with the company but it won’t fix the problem, that the workers are fatigued, they aren’t robots who can work without sleep, there aren’t enough of them, and there is nobody qualified to replace them immediately.
I totally agree. Long term the answer is to automate jobs that are difficult to fill. Short term? Well, I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of pain. You're correct that the issue is more lack of time off than anything else. Offering higher pay only helps to a degree but as you said workers aren't robots. Everyone needs time off.
 
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
Cry me a river. I worked from 1979 to 1999 without a vacation. When I had a union job, prior to that, I'd jump at any opportunity to get paid time and a half to work overtime.

These men can't be forced to work without sleep. Look at the federal regulations for tractor trailer drivers.

Please stop over grammaticizing these threads, or this one will be closed too! Because of YOU!
 
Last edited:
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
OK rant off... back on topic.

I visited a Costco tonight in Mt Arlington, NJ
It appeared to have all of their shelves stocked.
The only thing I went there for was their Kirkland water, 40- 16oz bottles for $3.99
Totally, out of stock. They had pallets of Poland Spring in stock, but no price tag.

I cruised through their meat department, and didn't see any holes. I don't buy meat there because their packaging is too large for our level of consumption.
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,661
I thought this thread was about the pandemic supply chain. Is it only limited to what we find in the grocery store while ignoring how it got there? I brought up a potential problem coming up. It may happen, it may not. Still, it is something to be kept aware of like the ships at the port of L.A. or the trucks moving goods across the country. It all has an impact on how we get supplies at the market. I don't care what side people are on regarding the issue of the possible railway strike. Let's keep the politics out of it. The potential of losing more of our shipping ability is news that can dramatically affect our supply chain. That is pertinent to this topic. I'm not making this stuff up. It's in the news.


 
Last edited:
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
HOF, you present this information as though it is the end of civilization in the United States of America. I assure it is not.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
 
Poppy

Poppy

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
6,731
Location
Northern New Jersey
As I walked through Costco this afternoon, they had a section, full of Duracell batteries. I guess they were on sale.
 
H

Hooked on Fenix

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,661
HOF, you present this information as though it is the end of civilization in the United States of America. I assure it is not.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
We’re in the third year of a global pandemic, had our oil pipelines and meat companies hacked, are in a global supply chain crisis, and may see a war with Russia and Ukraine soon. This won’t be the end of civilization, it’s just par for the course. It’s just good to know when the SHTF, so you can get out of the splatter zone.
 
turbodog

turbodog

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
5,750
Location
Southern USA
... That is pertinent to this topic. I'm not making this stuff up. It's in the news.
...

Pertinent yes. But accurate? We don't have any real details to weigh in on. I actually looked for specific details on: the new attendance policy, current policy, existing employee absence rates, etc. Wasn't able to find any of those.

If BNSF employees go out on strike, in the middle of a pandemic, as critical transportation workers... it smacks of selfishness. Imagine if healthcare workers did the same thing.

 
scout24

scout24

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
8,700
Location
Penn's Woods
...Amost as big a deal as the huge cross-borders trucking issue we face right now... It would be quite difficult to make up the volume lost if even 10% of trucks sit at the borders. And a tremendous amount of goods and food come in from our northern and southern neighbors.
 
bykfixer

bykfixer

Flashaholic
CPF Supporter
Joined
Aug 9, 2015
Messages
16,048
Location
My own little Idaho
C'mon guys……back to topic, not whether some union should or should not strike.
That's what this one is for……

Meanwhile the song "I've been working on the rail road, all the live long day" is stuck in my head.

Back in 020 when Brazil was getting cremed with covid issues it was easy to tell what stuff came from Brazil. Just look for the holes in the produce section. But many of our clothes and other items come from south of the border.

Fact is we've had it so good for so long we freak out as a society at the slightest hickup in the supply chain in America. I remember as a lad store shelves having empty spots was the norm at certain times.
 
Last edited:
H

Hooked on Fenix

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
2,661
Pertinent yes. But accurate? We don't have any real details to weigh in on. I actually looked for specific details on: the new attendance policy, current policy, existing employee absence rates, etc. Wasn't able to find any of those.
Some of the details of the policy to take effect February 1, 2022 are in the first video I posted. Much of how it could affect us is in the second video. Usually hard to find policy details online that haven't yet taken effect. I'll leave it at that. I wanted to make everyone aware that this strike could happen and if it did, would affect our supply chain. I did not want to start a pissing match on which side was right or wrong. Let's keep politics out of this thread and get back on topic.
 

Similar threads

NewBie
Replies
30
Views
2K
NewBie
NewBie
M
Replies
171
Views
6K
FalconFX
FalconFX
N
Replies
34
Views
1K
Echo63
Echo63
S
Replies
36
Views
6K
Charles Bradshaw
C
NewBie
Replies
27
Views
3K
jtr1962
J
Top