Senate Votes on Rail Union Labor Agreement
On Dec. 1 the United States Senate voted 80-15 on the bill that would force union workers to abide by the tentative labor agreement from September.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), pressed his colleagues to support the House-passed bill. That legislation passed 290-137.
“One thing is certain: Time is of the essence,” Schumer said on Dec. 1.
“A rail shutdown is set to begin Dec. 9, but the truth is we need to resolve this impasse well in advance of that date. Suppliers and businesses across the nation are going to begin shutting down operations soon if they think a strike is imminent.”
On Nov. 30, President Joe Biden urged the Senate to take up the freight rail matter.
“The Senate must now act urgently,” said Biden.“Disruptions to our auto supply chains, our ability to move food to tables, and our ability to remove hazardous waste from gasoline refineries will begin. The Senate must move quickly and send a bill to my desk for my signature immediately.”
The Senate rejected by a 52-43 vote a measure that would give union rail workers seven days of sick leave. In order for a measure to pass in the Senate it would need 60 votes. The unhappy union groups had some choice words for the Senators who voted against this.
“The Senate just failed to pass seven days of paid sick leave for rail workers. We are grateful to the 52 Senators who voted YES and stood with rail workers,” tweeted the Transportation Trades Department labor coalition. “Shame on the 43 elected leaders who abandoned the working class. We will not forget it.”
If you’ll recall, on July 15, President Joe Biden blocked a freight railroad strike in Omaha, Nebraska. This strike would disrupt the fragile supply chain by delaying the shipment of goods for at least 60 days.
To combat this, President Biden appointed a board of arbitrators, the Presidential Emergency Board, to help the dispute with contract building and negotiation mediation.
The appointed Presidential Emergency Board gave the 12 unions involved a 124-page report outlining their suggested terms.
One of the biggest suggestions was a 24% raise for the 115,000 rail workers.
Early on Sept. 15, it was announced that the six Class I railroads and union workers reached a tentative deal with the management council for the rail carriers.
The tentative deal prevented about 115,000 conductors, engineers, and other employees from staging a walkout.
In a statement by President Biden, he said this deal would guarantee “better pay, improved working conditions and peace of mind around their health care costs.”
Just when we thought the rail unions and railroads had reached a deal that pleased both parties, on October 10, approximately 12,000 union workers voted against the tentative labor agreement.
On Nov. 21, it was announced that The Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers union and their 500+ Transportation Division members rejected the tentative agreement negotiated in mid-September by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and other officials.
On Nov. 30, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would force the railroad and the unions to abide by the terms outlined in the September tentative agreement. The measure passed by a vote of 290-137.
Now that both Senate and the House have signed this bill, it moves to President Biden’s desk where he is expected to sign with no hesitation. For more news like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
Need Funding for a Semi-Truck or Trailer?
Go Capital Can Help!
We specialize in helping trucker drivers with challenged credit. Get pre-approved today.
No Hard Inquiries – No Impact on Your Business or Personal Credit.