• Union voting update, 2022 contract

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by John_Perkowski
Link from Politico
President of largest rail union predicts congressional intervention after ‘no’ vote

Brief, Fair use quote
The president of the largest freight rail union is skeptical he’ll be able to reach a new agreement with carriers in time to prevent an economically devastating strike — and predicts Congress will likely soon step in.
  by daybeers
I hate all the hand-wringing about the negative effects of striking. That's the point! That's how striking works and is effective! It's so frustrating that so much of the media is focused on that and not the huge corporations that aren't willing to give a few percentage points of their billions/year in profits so their employees can still get paid when they're sick!!
  by eolesen
Serious question.....striking will no doubt provoke an imposed solution from Congress.

My understanding after dealing with this crap for 30+ years is that Congress has very limited power in what they can impose via legislation.

The most likely result is the recommendations of the PEB or the modified agreements that went to a vote will be imposed, and those don't address all those balance of home/worklife issues that everyone seems to be most upset over.

So.....what's really achieved by walking out vs. continuing to bargain? Once the contract is imposed, there's no more pressure for the carriers to negotiate.
  by justalurker66
Presidential Emergency Board (PEB)
  by farecard
Given the Mississippi is all but shut down, the railroads are the only thing carrying an awful lot of farm commodities....
  by eolesen
Posting this in both threads... Mods can merge, keep in both, or choose to sacrifice one of them...

Statement from President Joe Biden on Averting a Rail Shutdown
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-roo ... -shutdown/
I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators – without any modifications or delay – to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.

This agreement was approved by labor and management negotiators in September. On the day that it was announced, labor leaders, business leaders, and elected officials all hailed it as a fair resolution of the dispute between the hard-working men and women of the rail freight unions and the companies in that industry.

The deal provides a historic 24% pay raise for rail workers. It provides improved health care benefits. And it provides the ability of operating craft workers to take unscheduled leave for medical needs.

Since that time, the majority of the unions in the industry have voted to approve the deal.

During the ratification votes, the Secretaries of Labor, Agriculture, and Transportation have been in regular touch with labor leaders and management. They believe that there is no path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table and have recommended that we seek Congressional action.

Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy. Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down. My economic advisors report that as many as 765,000 Americans – many union workers themselves – could be put out of work in the first two weeks alone. Communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water. Farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock.

As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.

Some in Congress want to modify the deal to either improve it for labor or for management. However well-intentioned, any changes would risk delay and a debilitating shutdown. The agreement was reached in good faith by both sides.

I share workers’ concern about the inability to take leave to recover from illness or care for a sick family member. No one should have to choose between their job and their health – or the health of their children. I have pressed legislation and proposals to advance the cause of paid leave in my two years in office, and will continue to do so. Every other developed country in the world has such protections for its workers.

But at this critical moment for our economy, in the holiday season, we cannot let our strongly held conviction for better outcomes for workers deny workers the benefits of the bargain they reached, and hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.

Congress has the power to adopt the agreement and prevent a shutdown. It should set aside politics and partisan division and deliver for the American people. Congress should get this bill to my desk well in advance of December 9th so we can avoid disruption.
  by Gilbert B Norman
I'm "horrified" that the Act has failed, and that enacted legislation is the only way to resolve the issue.

As Col. Perkowski immediately notes, Joe is considered to be pro-union, and I am surprised he is party to obviating a Union's "ultimate weapon". I am further surprised he was not able to "sit 'em down, lock the door, get Door Dash on standby, and consider yourselves 'imprisioned' until resolved". This especially interesting in that Joe has had "a few victories of late" on the broader political front with "talk of a second term abuzzin'".

OK now I think I have this straight (and I had best, as I think I'm the only railroader, active or former around here, who has Labor Relations within the CV), but here are the crafts that have not ratified:

Conductors (SMART-TD)
Maintenance of Way (BMWED)
Signal Maintainers (BRS)
Stationary Engineers (IBB)
  by charlesriverbranch
eolesen wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 8:50 pm But at this critical moment for our economy, in the holiday season, we cannot let our strongly held conviction for better outcomes for workers deny workers the benefits of the bargain they reached, and hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.
So why not just extend the bargaining period?
  by eolesen
Why not extend the bargaining period?... Because there's a process, and the process has now played itself out to its end.

Ask instead why would the railroads agree to extending?

The only way continuing negotiations works for mutual benefit is if the unions give up something in order to change the attendance policy only really used by two large railroads, which is opening Pandoras Box for those who don't do HiViz or a variation...

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by John_Perkowski
Upsetting the Teamsters wasn’t a good idea when Jimmy Hoffa ran it. IMO, it’s still not.

The MOW Workers respond to Joe…

Link to Trains Magazine article: Union: Biden decision ‘does not address rail industry disease’||| Maintenance-of-way union continues call for sick leave, says forced settlement won’t address service issues

Brief, fair use quote
In its statement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said it is “deeply disappointed by and disagrees with” Biden’s call for agreements that do not include paid sick days. Both the maintenance-of-way workers and members of the SMART-TD union, which represents conductors, have called for sick days to be addressed in the agreement.
Here’s a link to the MOW Workers complete response
  by eolesen
That statement from the Union wouldn't survive the most liberal fact check.

Sure, they don't get paid sick days, but because of the open nature of crew scheduling on the freight side, anytime they mark themselves off, they've got ample opportunity to make up the work within their hours of service via overtime or the extra board.

They can also apply for RUIA, which offers up to 6 months of 70% sick pay, which is something you don't typically see in any other industry unless the employee pays for short-term disability insurance.

Railroad workers are in the top 10% income earners in the United states. The robber baron line sounds great but just doesn't hold up under a minimum of scrutiny.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Gilbert B Norman
Where is this Journal reporter coming from?

Pertinent Fair Use:
Under the Railway Labor Act, Congress can make both sides accept an agreement that their members have voted down. Lawmakers also can order negotiations to continue and delay the strike deadline for a certain period, or they can send the dispute to outside arbitrators.
Girl, the Act HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED!!!!

If this strike is to be enjoined by enacted legislation, such will have its own title and will be independent of any existing law.

The only codified law out there providing for an injunction is that under the Taft-Hartley Act. Such provision allows the President to order parties back to work for eighty days only after a strike has begun and it endangers national health and safety. A strike in this instance has yet to begin.

The best known instance when this provision was used was during the 1959 Steelworkers strike where after 116 days, Eisenhower imposed the injunction. The Union appealed to the Federal Judiciary, and the case went to the Supreme Court. The union lost; and at that time their General Counsel, Arthur J Goldberg, who later became a JFK appointed Justice, noted "the only appeal from a Supreme Court decision is an appeal to God".
  by zuckie13
Ok, to me this is so easy for Congress to fix. Take the current negotiated deal. Add X days of sick leave. X is like 5. Done.
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