I've been here almost three years. Come in, do my job, don't cause trouble and I believe I'm a pretty good railroad freight conductor and employee.
After my shift tonight several of us were called into the head office for a meeting... This wouldn't be so bad if it was at a normal time... But it was 11 PM. No one is at the head office at 11 PM unless something really Ungood was about to happen.
We walk into the building and the first thing I notice was the security guard outside the office where were to go...
The only time security is called at times like this is when someone is asked to turn in their ID badge and escorted off the property. The three of us were collectively shitting our pants. My one buddy was almost about to vomit right there in the office. He was shaking so hard I was worried that he'd come unglued right there. 22 years with the company, good employee, great engineer, wife & kids at home... Mortgage... Everything to lose and for something this stupid?
We walked out with sick stomachs and wobbly knees an hour later with our jobs, but barely. I have truly never been more frightened in my life. Sure I've had the shit scared out of me several times in the past, but this... Watching everything I'd ever dreamed of be flushed down The Commode of Life....
So much for stopping off after work for some good St. Patty's good cheer.
I'm really not going to get into it right now because a few things are still in arbitration and there's a few grievances pending, but I will tell you this, if they sacked everyone in the Railroad Operating Department for something as stupid and petty as this, they'd need to replace 80% of the department.
I've badmouthed unions in the past, and still will, but for this I'm truly glad I'm in one.
Thank you my brothers in IAM Local #57!
Copyright 2009 Thomas J Wolfenden