November 7, 2023
From Popular Resistance

Above photo: Michael Paul Lindsey.

Railroad Workers United (RWU) is initiating a public defense campaign for the unjustly dismissed locomotive engineer, Michael “Paul” Lindsey II. Embarking on his railroad career in Roseville, CA in 2006, Paul has since navigated the extensive networks of Union Pacific Railroad (UP), working in 10 states. His membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Local 228 and RWU, and his active contributions to the RWU Steering and Media Outreach committees, underscore his unwavering commitment to the railroad community.

Paul tirelessly spotlights corporate misconduct within the rail industry. His work aims to foster its growth and prosperity, ensuring a flourishing future for the industry and its workforce. Through diverse channels such as letters to the Surface Transportation Board, contributions to trade publications, news interviews, podcasts, and social media platforms garnering millions of views, Paul has harnessed public exposure to champion the welfare of industry employees and the broader national interests, transcending the enrichment of Wall Street.

The critical juncture arrived when Paul leveraged his platform to educate the public on the devastating Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, OH. This bold act culminated in his unjust termination by UP, mirroring a larger industry-wide practice of thwarting whistleblowers, labor activists, and workers from voicing concerns and holding the rail industry accountable to its employees, shippers and the general public.

Armed with the whistleblower protections enshrined in the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSIA), Railroad Workers United asserts that:

 UP should overturn Paul Lindsey’s termination, extending him back pay, compensation for damages, and a public acknowledgment for the unjust termination.

 All workers should rally behind this defense campaign, presenting a resolute message to railroads and all employers: Workers possess an indomitable right to voice concerns without enduring retaliation.

 The legislative arms of railroad unions should prioritize fortifying existing whistleblower protections, especially to shield individuals using social media and other platforms to expose industry malpractices, corruption, and unfavorable conditions.

RWU is unyielding in orchestrating a formidable defense for Brother Paul Lindsey and any other railroad worker unjustly targeted by rail corporations, standing firm on the principles laid down by FRSIA. We are committed to utilizing our resources to spotlight these defenses through media campaigns, public forums, social media blitzes, and collaborative efforts with allied organizations.

We also extend our support to those who wish to share their experiences and concerns while pursuing legal channels and the protections afforded them. We encourage employees to know their rights and the proper channels through which they can voice their concerns, ensuring they remain protected under the law. We urge working railroaders and vigilant citizens to actively partake in this defense campaign, nurturing a culture of support, justice, and empowerment for railroad whistleblowers, thereby echoing the spirit of the law in fostering a transparent and accountable railroad industry.