Labor Law: Out of the Featherbed

Freight trains going through Arkansas must perform an odd ritual. At the border, the train stops and picks up one or two additional crewmen. The men remain aboard, working with the regular crew while the train traverses the state; they are dropped off as it crosses the border on the way out.

Arkansas law requires a minimum of six crewmen in both the operation and the switching of a freight train. It and similar laws in other states are the result of persuasive union lobbying, and have generally been upheld in the courts. But now, a three-judge U.S....

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