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House plans to vote on averting rail strike

Railroad Contract Talks
Posted at 6:33 AM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 18:07:15-05

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her chamber will vote as early as this morning to try and stop a rail workers' strike.

One of the sticking points for these workers; getting paid sick time. More than 100,000 union workers could walk off the job during arguably the busiest time of year. A move that would bring 30% of the nation's freight movements to a halt.

President Biden asked Congress to step in to block the freight rail workers' strike that is set to begin next week. A strike was averted in September when a tentative labor deal was reached. That proposed deal offered the unions a 24% pay hike. Eight unions agreed to it, but four unions voted "no". And if one goes on strike, they all do.

While those rejected contracts would have given workers their largest pay increase in 50 years, union members said it didn't address the pay and scheduling issues.

"It's the quality of life and how they're treated with dignity and respect while they're at work. All the issues that we have to deal with when we are keeping America moving 24 hours a day 7 days a week nonstop," said Jeremy Ferguson, President Smart-TD.

A rail strike could cost the economy anywhere from half-a-billion dollars a week to $2 billion a day, depending on who is doing the analysis, stalling the supply chain filled with everything from food to Christmas gifts.