Skip to main content

Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

Share
Politics

Senate approves rail workers labor agreement, ending risk of strike

Dec 01, 2022

Share

Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

Share

The Senate voted to approve a labor agreement between rail workers and the companies they work for, 80-15. The agreement has now been fully approved by Congress and can now go onto President Biden’s desk for a signature.

This should avert a rail strike that was projected to cost the U.S. economy $2 billion dollars a day, just ahead of the holidays. The agreement includes a 24% pay increase, improved health benefits and protecting two person work crews.

There were three separate votes. One vote that passed was on the labor agreement as written. Senators also voted on a proposal to begin a new 60 day cool-off period, so negotiations could continue between the workers and companies without government intervention. That vote failed.

A vote to provide an additional seven paid sick days to workers also failed, 52-43. That was championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who said the railroad industry can afford it because they made $21 billion in profits over the last year. 

“There’s no clearer example of what we see of corporate greed than what we see in the rail industry today,” Sen. Sanders said on the senate floor moments before the vote. “And yet today in that industry, workers who do difficult and dangerous work have zero paid sick days. Zero. You get sick, you get a mark against you, a couple of marks, you get fired. This cannot and must not happen in America in 2022.”

President Biden said although the paid sick time did not get through Congress, he will keep negotiating.

“We’re going to avoid the rail strike, keep the rails running, keep things moving and we’re going to go back and get paid leave. Not just for rail workers but for all workers,” President Biden said during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The president will have to sign the congressionally approved bill into law to make the deal official.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Senate voted to approve a labor agreement between rail workers and the companies they work for, aligning with the House and sending the agreement to President Biden for his signature. 

 

This should avert a rail strike that was projected to cost the US economy $2 billion dollars a day, just ahead of the holidays. The agreement includes a 24% pay increase, improved health benefits, and protecting two person work crews. 

 

kjThere were three separate votes. One on the labor agreement as written, that passed. Senators also voted on a proposal to begin a new 60 day cooling off period, so negotiations could continue between the workers and companies without government intervention. That vote failed. 

 

A vote to provide an additional seven paid sick days to workers also failed. That was championed by Senator Bernie Sanders who said the railroad industry can afford it because they made $21 billion in profits over the last year. 

 

Sanders “There’s no clearer example of what we see of corporate greed than what we see in the rail industry today. In the last year that industry earned $21 billion dollars in profit, record breaking, provided $25 billion in stock buybacks and dividends to their wealthy shareholders.” “And yet today in that industry, workers who do difficult and dangerous work have zero paid sick days. Zero. You get sick, you get a mark against you, a couple of marks, you get fired. This cannot and must not happen in America in 2022.” 

 

President Biden says although the paid sick time did not get through congress, he will keep negotiating. 

 

 

Biden: We’re going to avoid the rail strike, keep the rails running, keep things moving and we’re going to go back and get paid leave. Not just for rail workers but for all workers. 

 

He will have to sign the congressionally approved bill into law to make the deal official. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.