WASHINGTON – The nation was on the brink of a crippling national strike by railroad workers in the summer of 1963 when Congress stepped in to settle a years-long battle over how many men it took to safely operate a train.
The bill, signed by President John F. Kennedy in August 1963, set a historic precedent by forcing labor unions and railroad management into arbitration, a process that eventually allowed rail companies to trim their payrolls yet also protected the unionized workers who filled those jobs.
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