Railroad Strike Averted as Congress Intervenes
Following substantial pressure from IWLA and other trade groups, Congress intervened this week to avert a potential rail strike that would’ve cost the American economy as much as $2 billion per day. The House passed a package of bills on Wednesday to ratify the proposed contract, including provisions to add paid sick leave, while the Senate voted only to ratify the contract with no additional sick leave on Thursday. On Friday, President Joe Biden signed into law the Senate-passed agreement that ends the chance for a legal rail strike.
The tentative agreement provides average employee compensation and benefits of more than $160,000, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), which represents large rail employers. It provides a 24% wage increase over a five-year period from 2020 to 2024. It is the largest raise to rail workers in decades. However, it falls short of the unions’ central demand: paid sick leave. Currently, rail workers may have weeks of paid time off, but this cannot be used flexibly in the case of medical or family emergencies. Read More Read Even More
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