Railroad Union Rejects Labor Deal — Joe Biden Calls for Congress To Avert Strike
(RightWing.org) – President Joe Biden took a victory lap in a Rose Garden address in mid-September after reaching a tentative labor agreement with heads of the nation’s railway unions. However, as Right Wing reported in October, Biden’s self-congratulations proved to be premature when the members of several of the labor groups rejected ratification of the measure. The president recently called on Congress to act to avert a possible nationwide railway strike as the country heads into the holiday season.
On November 28, the White House released a statement from Biden calling on Congress to pass a bill to formally adopt the agreement his administration helped broker between railroad workers and operators in September. The president warned that a railway shutdown “would devastate” the nation’s economy, forcing several leading US industries to shut down.
President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to pass legislation to avoid a Dec. 9 rail shutdown, which could further damage a shaky U.S. economy during the holiday season. https://t.co/Zco9wGws18 pic.twitter.com/D88SfMjsqX
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) November 29, 2022
The September agreement with union leaders provided a 24% wage increase for workers, improved healthcare benefits and offered provision for unscheduled leave to address medical needs.
Eight rail unions approved the five-year deal, but members of four others rejected it, citing concerns regarding unpaid sick leave, the railways’ demanding schedules, and other working conditions.
Speaker Pelosi in new statement on timing for House: "This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement – with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms – and send it to the Senate."https://t.co/73ofId1LMM
— Lillianna Byington (@lil_byington) November 28, 2022
Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) vowed to push the original agreement without any modifications. However, it remains unclear whether she has the votes to pass the measure on to the Senate and its 50/50 split membership, although Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) said he supported a legislative remedy.
The Association of American Railroads praised the effort to pass legislation to avoid a rail strike. Likewise, other business groups recently called on the Biden Administration to take a more active role in preventing a worker walkout.
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