Largest rail union rejects deal. Possible rail strike could cripple U. S Economy
The largest rail union in the country rejected a tentative deal mediated by the White House on Monday, increasing the likelihood of a statewide strike next month that could seriously harm the American economy. On Monday, the engineers’ second-largest rail union, which represents almost half of the personnel in the sector, voted in support of the contract, dividing the top rail unions.
The Biden administration’s tentative agreement, which covered 28,000 conductors and other trainmen, was rejected by SMART Transportation Division, the largest freight rail union. The margin of defeat was incredibly small (50.87%).
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a sizable rail union, voted to accept the deal with 53.5% of the vote.
Employees receive a 24% pay increase over five years, an extra personal day, and health care cost caps under the arrangement. Additionally, it makes some adjustments to the railroads’ rigid attendance regulations so that employees may attend to medical requirements without being penalized for missing work.
The danger of a nationwide strike occurring next month will necessitate the companies starting to make preparations for the interruption, according to the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, or NCCC, the association that represents freight train companies. The NCCC warned that a nationwide rail strike would have a negative effect on both the people and the economy. Now that such a threat remains imminent, freight railroads and passenger carriers must quickly start acting responsibly to secure the network in advance of any deadline.
Once the agreement is approved, the backpay and bonuses will provide union members with an average payment of $11,000 per worker.
If workers go on strike, Congress has the authority to step in.
In the event of a strike, Congress would probably step in within a few hours. The Railway Labor Act gives Congress the power to implement any variety of measures, including enforcing some form of the contract or maintaining the status quo while deferring any decisions to the next Congress, to keep trains moving again.