Nationwide Rail Strike Appears Averted; Dispute Centers on Work-Life Balance for Train Crews

yellow trainPhoto by Brett Sayles on

Businesses and consumers are breathing a sigh of relief that a nationwide freight rail strike appears to have been avoided by a late-night tentative agreement reached Wednesday between railroads and labor unions.

Unlike previous disputes over pay and benefits, the current dispute is centered around unpaid time off for train crew workers, who say they are being squeezed by the railroads’ unwillingness to hire enough workers.

SBN News Director Steve Lubetkin discussed the rail dispute with Peter Swan, Ph.D., associate professor of logistics and operations management, at Penn State University’s Harrisburg campus. Swan is a veteran of more than a decade in the railroad business. Swan earned his Ph.D. in business administration at the University of Michigan Business School. He holds an MBA from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He has published in such journals as Journal of Business Logistics, Transportation Journal, Public Works Management & Policy, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, and Academy of Management Journal. 

You can hear the conversation with Dr. Swan in the audio player below.