Safe drinking water could be threatened as railroad companies continue to refuse to provide paid sick time and other quality-of-life improvements. One of the country’s biggest rail unions joined three others on Monday, rejecting substantial bonuses from Management. “When you’ve got to offer $20,000 to get somebody to go to work for the railroad in Lincoln, Nebraska, you’ve got a problem. People used to stand in line there,” Dennis Pierce, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen union, told the AP. “The reason for that is the word is out that if you go to work here, you’re not going to ever see your family.”

Shutdown — or even the near shutdown — of the U.S. railroad network could have catastrophic impacts on the country’s drinking and waste water systems that rely on railroads to deliver chemicals like chlorine. “All of the utilities would be impacted, every single one,” Kevin Morley, manager of federal relations for the American Water Works Association, told E&E News. “The majority of that product moves by rail to a distributor, and if the distributor doesn’t get it, there’s nothing for 16,000 [publicly owned water systems] … or 50,000 community water systems.” A rail shutdown would also halt shipments of multiple fossil fuels and petrochemical products. (E&E News, AP, Axios: Fossil fuels: E&E $)