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Rail union battle for paid sick leave is back on the political agenda in Washington, D.C.

By Admin

Reported by Lori Ann LaRocco for CNBC.

Railroad carriers were able to avoid the issue of paid sick leave in the deal Congress struck to avert a nationwide rail strike late last year, but the pressure is back on in Washington, D.C.

Freight rail companies were put on notice this week to offer comprehensive sick time for their union workers or they will find themselves testifying before the Senate.

In a joint press conference, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, and Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) a member of the committee, demanded railroad carriers offer workers at least seven paid sick days. Sanders mentioned the record profits of the railroad carriers and urged the companies to “do the right thing.”

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Sanders to Class I’s (Except CSX): Paid Sick Leave For All

By Admin

Reported by William C. Vantuono for Railway Age.

Following CSX’s deal with two of its labor unions to enact paid sick leave, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Feb. 8 sent a letter to the CEOs of BNSF, Canadian Pacific, CN, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific urging that they all take CSX’s lead and enact similar provisions. He added that he would be holding a hearing on the matter “in the near future” and is hosting a Feb. 9 rally described as a “press conference” with rail labor leaders in Washington, D.C.

“As you know, a few months ago, a majority in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives voted for legislation to guarantee seven paid sick days to every rail worker in America,” Sanders, the erstwhile populist Presidential candidate well known for his signature positions on free health care and college educations “for all,” wrote. “While this legislation was filibustered in the Senate by a minority of Senators, this issue has not been forgotten by Members of Congress or the committee of jurisdiction over this matter—the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.”

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Carrier cost-cutting on railroad caused fiery Ohio wreck

By Admin

Reported by Mark Gruenberg for People’s World.

A fiery freight train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, involving hazardous materials in tank cars, was a direct result of Norfolk Southern cost-cutting which led to little maintenance and an undiscovered safety problem, the top organization for rank-and-file railroaders says. And corporate greed to satisfy Wall Street led to the cuts, it adds.

The wreck could have been worse, Railroad Workers United added, had the 9,300-foot-long train not had a three-worker crew, rather than the single worker—the engineer—the nation’s big Class I freight railroads, including NS, have advocated for years.

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‘Workers Know the Truth’ About the Derailment Disaster – Why Are They Being Ignored?

By Admin

Reported by Bob Hennelly for Work-Bites.Com.

Throughout the recent hazardous chemical freight train derailment in Ohio and the four-day ordeal that followed while the flaming wreck was stabilized, the one perspective that was consistently missing from the reporting was that of the union railroad workers. It didn’t matter if it was the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Associated Press , the reporting relied on interviews with local, state and federal officials as well as statements from the Norfolk Southern, the rail carrier but not the perspective of their union workers.

It was as if robots and AI were already driving the train. The entire narrative of the cataclysm was framed by officials and the corporation whose malfunctioning train was now putting workers and the community in life-threatening jeopardy. The derailment played out in the rural borderland of Ohio and Pennsylvania requiring both states to activate an emergency evacuation response.

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Sanders to Join Rail Workers in Fresh Demand for Paid Sick Leave

By Admin

Reported by Jake Johnson for Common Dreams.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Tuesday that he will join rail workers later this week to launch a fresh push for at least seven days of paid sick leave, an effort that comes months after Congress and the Biden White House forced workers to accept a contract without a single paid sick day to avert a potential strike.

Joining Sanders (I-Vt.) and rail union representatives at the Thursday press conference in Washington, D.C. will be Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.), one of the handful of Republican senators who voted for Sanders’ amendment to add a week of paid sick leave to the White House-brokered contract deal.

The Vermont senator’s amendment ultimately fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to overcome the Senate filibuster.

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In a first, some CSX railroad workers to get paid sick leave

By Admin

Reported by Josh Funk for AP News.

Several thousand workers at CSX will soon get one of the things that pushed the U.S. railroad industry to the brink of a strike last fall: paid sick time.

CSX announced a deal Tuesday with two of its 12 unions, becoming the first major railroad to offer that benefit that most U.S. workers take for granted.

About 4,000 track-maintenance workers in the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division union and another 1,000 mechanical workers in the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen union will get four days of paid sick leave as part of the agreements. The workers will also be able to convert three of their personal leave days into sick-leave days.

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Rail unions adopt resolution calling for paid sick leave

By Admin

Reported by Progressive Railroading.

Twelve rail labor unions late last week adopted a resolution that calls for the nation’s freight railroads to give all railroad workers paid sick leave.

The resolution claims that the majority of rail workers don’t have paid sick leave and are all subject to discipline for work absences due to illness and injury.

“The lack of paid sick leave for all railroad workers, 30 years following the passage of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), is unacceptable,” the unions’ resolution stated.

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On 30th Anniversary of FMLA, Rail Unions Adopt Resolution Calling for Universal Paid Sick Leave

By Samantha Brown

WASHINGTON – As the nation commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), all U.S. rail labor unions unanimously adopted a Resolution calling for paid sick leave.  “The lack of paid sick leave for rail workers came into the national spotlight during this last round of national contract bargaining that concluded in December,” said […]

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Transportation industry representatives attack infrastructure law rollout

By Admin

Reported by John Gallagher for American Shipper.

Transportation officials representing trucking, rail and seaports took aim at priorities touted by Democrats over the past two years — including the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — at the opening hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday.

They took their cue from the committee’s Republicans, who now lead the 65-member panel after Republicans took control of the House in January.

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Railroad corporations want to slash train crews for Wall Street profits

By Admin

Reported by People’s World.

Using safety of workers and communities as their main argument, two top railroad unions and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department strongly argued for mandatory two-person crews on all freight trains.

TTD and unions carried their campaign to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hearing on crews on Dec. 14, a day after rail workers’ rallied nationwide on another top issue, with its own safety component, paid sick and family leave. Congress nixed that when it imposed a new contract on the nation’s 115,000 freight rail workers.

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