Reported by Ian Kullgren and Diego Areas Munhoz for Bloomberg Law.
President Joe Biden’s eleventh-hour push to head off a rail strike with a Congressional intervention may have cleared the House Wednesday, but the long-term consequences for Democrats’ relationship with unions—not to mention the bill’s future in the Senate—are anyone’s guess.
The race to pre-empt a nationwide rail shutdown just before Christmas is fraying Democrats’ relationships with one another and unions themselves, with left-leaning members smarting over what they see as a betrayal of their union base. Biden finds himself in the exact jam he sought to avoid in September, when he dispatched Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to broker a deal between unions and rail executives.
Congress is poised to avert a rail strike by passing legislation imposing the terms of a tentative agreement between unions and railroads, but experts and labor advocates said resentment from the action could linger.
The House voted Wednesday to pass a bill adopting the terms of a tentative agreement unions and railroads negotiated earlier this year as well as a separate measure to provide workers seven days of paid sick leave. Four of the 12 unions that represent railroad workers voted to reject the tentative agreement in recent weeks, setting up the prospects of a large-scale strike starting Dec. 9 if the sides could not reach an agreement members would ratify.
Reported by Isabella Murray, Trish Turner, and Allison Pecorin for ABC News.
The Senate on Thursday voted to avert a looming strike of the nation’s railway workers by forcing a labor agreement.
A bipartisan majority of senators approved a House bill that will codify a tentative agreement between the rail companies and rail unions, which was brokered in September and subsequently rejected by some of the workers.
WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, president and secretary-treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, today issued this statement regarding a potential extension of the cooling off period for rail negotiations: “As the nation’s largest transportation labor federation, we proudly represent the dozen rail unions involved in the ongoing national contract […]
The House passed legislation aimed at averting a crippling nationwide US freight rail strike, sending it to the Senate, which could take action as soon as this week.
The bill, passed Wednesday on a 290-137 bipartisan vote, would impose a labor agreement hammered out by rail companies, labor leaders and the Biden administration months ago but rejected by workers in four of 12 unions.
The House separately voted 221-207 to pass a related bill that would revise the original deal to add seven days of paid sick leave to the contract, one of the chief sticking points between unions and companies. Only three Republicans voted for the sick leave measure, which doesn’t bode well for it getting enough GOP support in the Senate to pass. The Senate could choose to go along with the change or ignore it without affecting the original legislation.
WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, president and secretary-treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, today issued this statement regarding scheduled congressional votes to resolve the national rail labor contract: “For more than three years, America’s rail unions bargained in good faith with freight railroads to improve hellish working conditions that […]
Reported by Michael D. Shear and Emily Cochrane for The New York Times. Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress vowed on Tuesday to pass legislation averting a nationwide rail strike, saying they agreed with President Biden that a work stoppage during the holidays next month would disrupt shipping and deal a devastating blow to the […]
Reported by James Politi and Taylor Nicole Rogers for the Financial Times.
Joe Biden has often portrayed himself as the most pro-union president in American history, with his sympathy for blue-collar workers dating back to his childhood in the Pennsylvania rustbelt.
But faced with a potential strike of railroad unions that could have a crippling effect on US supply chains and the economy heading into the holiday season, Biden is now pleading for Congress to step in and force thousands of workers to stay on the job, risking a rift with some of his closest political allies.