Railroad Industry Leads in Number of Corporate Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints

Saturday, October 24, 2015
(photo: Wikipedia)

More than any other industry, railroads punish whistleblowers, according to the investigative news site FairWarning.


Over a period of eight years, railroads were the subject of more than 2,000 retaliation complaints made by whistleblowers to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, FairWarning reported.


BNSF and Union Pacific had the most railroad complaints, 409 and 360, respectively, from October 2007 through June 2015.


Railroads, in fact, made up seven of the top 10 on OSHA’s list of most whistleblower reports. After BNSF and Union Pacific, were CSX with 267, Norfolk Southern (247), Canadian National (151), Amtrak (119) and Metro-North (102).


The non-railroad corporations to make the list were UPS (139) and AT&T (103).


Interestingly, the No. 1 violator on the list was a federal agency: the U.S. Postal Service, with 578 complaints.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

For Big Railroads, a Carload of Whistleblower Complaints (by Stuart Silverstein and Brian Joseph, FairWarning)

Union Pacific Railroad Retaliates Against another Injured Worker (Occupation Safety and Health Administration)

Whistleblowers Reveal Accounts of Government Retaliation at Senate Hearing (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

FBI more Hostile to Whistleblowers than other Parts of the Government Are (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)


Chad Wilbourn 8 years ago
Employees on the UP know better not to bite the hand that feeds them. We are the biggest and most powerful railroad in the USA. We fly the American flag on the side of our locomotives with corporate pride. Railroad workers must obey safety rules and the GCOR of the UPRR. We shall prevail into the future of one of the best Corporate Railroads in this Country. We will continue to pay off the UTU and BLE.
Edward Hamilton 8 years ago
As a conductor for 32 years, I was investigated for rule violations 3 times. All three was overturned. the first one they spent 8 hrs on radio procedures violation they used the investigation as intimidation.
Ron Kaminkow 8 years ago
It is ironic that an industry that continually and tirelessly talks about "safety first" leads the rest of corporate America on firing and otherwise retaliating against employees who are injured on the job or report hazardous conditions. It is very telling of where the industry is really coming from. If these corporations were sincere in the efforts to promote a safe workplace environment, they would be thankful to have employees who report hazardous conditions and injuries since these reports are vital to any employer that wishes to eradicate unsafe conditions, accidents and injuries.

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