SUPPORT for Federal Engagement to Ensure Continued Rail Services

December 1, 2022


The Honorable Dianne Feinstein                              The Honorable Alex Padilla

United States Senator for California                         United States Senator for California

331 Hart Senate Office Building                                 112 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.   20510                                            Washington, D.C.   20510


RE: Support for Federal Engagement to Ensure Continued Rail Services

Dear Senators Feinstein and Padilla:

Representing a region that is predicated on a hard-working, labor-focused, and often under-represented population, we are writing to express our strong support for Federal action and expedience in addressing what could be a devastating railroad strike affecting our nation, businesses, transportation organizations, operators, consumers, and residents.  Inland Action is a non-profit, non-partisan corporation of public spirited leaders who have joined together to be catalysts for the economic well-being of the Inland Empire region of California since 1962.

San Bernardino County has a rich rail history that serves as a foundation from which our collective success is built. A fully functioning rail network is critical to jobs and job creation, economic security, access to opportunity, and protecting the regional and national economy through a comprehensive approach to our increasingly vulnerable supply chain needs.

We continue to invest and reinvest at the local level to do our part to ensure safety, reliability, and on-time services throughout freight and transit sectors. Our local roadway infrastructure is already on the brink of being overwhelmed by the movement of goods from the Southern California port system to the rest of the country. Accordingly, even a subtle disruption to rail operations, a vital complement to fulfilling the supply chain demand, has the potential to create a setback that could critically wound our logistics-based jobs, impacting thousands of families in our county alone. This kind of economic blow could take years from which to recover.

No one wins when the railroads stop running. Congress recognized their necessity to interstate commerce and America’s economic health with the passage of the Railway Labor Act and past congressional interventions in rail labor disputes when other steps fail.  While these sentiments are echoed throughout the nation, our direct concern is with the working families of San Bernardino County who are already struggling with the impacts of inflation on their ability to provide basic needs associated with the American expectations for quality of life. While a voluntary agreement with the four holdout unions is the best outcome, the risks to our working class communities simply make a national rail strike unacceptable. Therefore, absent a voluntary agreement, we call on you to take immediate steps to prevent a national rail strike and the certain economic destruction that would follow.

Thank you for your time and attention. We appreciate your consideration.


Deborah Barmack