Railroads: The Featherbedding Fight

For a decade, U.S. railroads and their unions have been at loggerheads over work rules. The unions, uneasily watching railroad employment dwindle from 2,000,000 in 1920 to 780,000 in 1960, have fought to preserve their hold by negotiating archaic, make-work labor contracts. The railroads, battered by competition from trucks, buses and planes, have fought to cut jobs still more and in 1959 launched an all-out publicity attack on the "featherbedding," which they claimed cost them $500 million a year. Last week, after more than a year of study, a 15-man Presidential Railroad...

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