All 12 rail unions must ratify any new agreement to avoid a potential shutdown.
Another railroad union rejected a tentative deal with major freight railroads, becoming the second union group to back out of a deal brokered by the Biden administration and raise the possibility of a nationwide strike.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Workers (BRS) announced on Wednesday that its members voted against ratification of the new contract by a margin of 60.57% to 39.23%, the highest level of participation in the union’s history.
BRS members are joining the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees division of the International Brotherhood of Drivers (BMWED) in refusing proposed contracts that would see a 24% increase in rail workers’ wages over a five-year period from 2020 to 2024, increasing the likelihood of work stoppages.
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The National Carrier Conference Committee (NCCC), representing major railroads such as BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, said on Wednesday it was disappointed with the BRS vote, but both sides agreed to continue negotiations until early December.
|UNP||UNION PACIFIC CORP.||195.78||+1.17||+0.60%|
|NBK||NORFOLK SOUTH BUILDING||222.12||+6.35||+2.94%|
The railroad union, which opposes a tentative agreement negotiated by President Biden’s Emergency Management Board (PEB), is unhappy that the deal did not do more to address quality of life issues, such as lack of sick leave and full-time crew work.
Several union members told FOX Business they were disappointed that their union representatives signed the PEB recommendations, arguing that the agreement did not do enough to improve working conditions.
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All twelve unions participating in the negotiations must agree to the ratification of their new contracts, otherwise a strike could occur that will destroy supply chains and the economy as a whole. Currently, the earliest strike can occur in mid-November. It is expected that in the event of a stoppage of work, Congress will intervene.
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So far, six unions have voted in favor of ratifying their treaties, and now two have voted against. The remaining four unions will vote next month.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Credit: www.foxbusiness.com /