I was not able to understand the labor relations problem at US railroads from just watching the news and reading mainstream news articles. A good article from New York magazine digs deeper. Takeaway: railroads cut a third of staff over the years and have no real wiggle room for things like people getting sick. The railroads are also very profitable and essentially a monopoly locally and an oligarchy nationally. Why not just give people sick days? I suppose it would mean having to hire people as a buffer, the way just about every other business does. Anyway, a good read.