CNN No Friend to Rail Workers

by Ed Sawicki


In December 2022, railroad workers demanded paid sick leave in their new contracts with the rail companies. They threatened to strike if they didn’t get it. CNN's coverage of this news story tended to be critical of the workers and pushed the narrative of the rail companies.

CNN’s reporting focused on the $2 billion per day loss to the U.S. economy if a strike shut down U.S. railroads. There was some mention of the far lower cost of providing rail workers with paid sick time but this was on specific shows like Jake Tapper. Generally, CNN demonized the rail workers for leveraging the only power they had.

Here are examples of audio from CNN reporting:

CNN’s own workers get more paid sick time than the rail workers were asking for. These cable TV “news” networks don’t just report the news, they try to shape it as well, to the detriment of American workers.

This is not a problem limited to the United States. Earlier in 2022, UK rail workers were striking for increased wages. Instead of reporting the news, an ITV (Sky News) talking head asked The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Worker's (RMT) union's General Secretary, Mich Lynch, if he was a Marxist. Watch the video to see how Lynch deals with this.

Here's Lynch standing up to a very hostile Sky News interview.

Additional reading

US railroad workers prepare for strike as rail companies see record profits

Biden signs bill to block U.S. railroad strike

Rail unions decry Biden’s call for Congress to block strike. Businesses praise the plan

US rail companies grant paid sick days after public pressure in win for unions