I think more, perhaps, the obviously dubious leap of claiming that better working conditions would necessarily have prevented this accident.
Yes, it absolutely would have. The bigger underlying issue in the rail industry right now is staffing reduction in the name of "optimization" and "efficiency" (read, higher profits), which as one would expect leads to overworked safety inspectors, less time for safety inspections on a per-car and per-component basis, less and hastier maintenance, reduced supervision, and lower standards for certification. All, of course, with the full approval of the DoT and NTSB, and a deregulation-happy Congress. Not to mention wage stagnation and reduced benefits, leading to high turnover, critical staffing shortages, and lack of qualified and interested applicants.
The kind of circumstances that might cause, say, a faulty wheel bearing to have gone unnoticed by time- and resource-strapped safety inspectors. But what would I know, that's clearly just obviously dubious leaps and speculation.
But it's not like this hasn't been known and decried for years, by the same people who were threatening to strike.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Even as railroads are operating longer and longer freight trains that sometimes stretch for miles, the companies have drastically reduced staffing levels, prompting unions to warn that moves meant to increase profits could endanger safety and even result in disasters.
Workers are under intense strain amid grueling schedules, union contract negotiations and an arcane attendance policy system
Employees say the inflexibility of scheduling upended their personal lives. The companies say they maintained service while using fewer resources.
Now I ask again, did I miss Obama pretending to drink a glass of East Palestine tap water in the meantime? I'm real
interested to know, because as far as I know, I'm the only person on this forum who gets his drinking water from Ohio river and lives in the region potentially impacted by this fuckup.