New rule to thwart railroad efforts to cut train crews to one

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Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Railroads will be required to maintain two-person crews under a new rule announced Wednesday that will thwart the industry’s efforts to cut crews down to one person.

Railroads will be required to keep using two-person crews in most circumstances as they haul all kinds of cargo, including hazardous materials, across the country. But there will be an exception to allow short-line railroads that have already been using one-man crews to continue using them and railroads can apply for permission to use smaller crews if they can prove it is safe.

The railroads’ proposal to reduce crew size has been a key issue in the deadlocked contract talks. Unions have long opposed the idea because of concerns about safety and preserving jobs.

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