A rail strike is still not off the table.
According to The Associated Press, the nation's third-largest railroad union has rejected a deal tentatively agreed to in September.
A strike was thought to be avoided after the Biden administration said it intervened last month and helped railroad operators and labor unions reach a tentative deal.
The agreement included an immediate 14.1% pay increase. Workers would also receive $11,000 in backpay thanks to a retroactive raise.
However, more than half of track maintenance workers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division union have rejected the 5-year deal, The Associated Press reported.
A sticking point for the workers reportedly has to do with a lack of paid time off.
“Railroaders are discouraged and upset with working conditions and compensation and hold their employer in low regard. Railroaders do not feel valued,” Cardwell said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
The union is expected to return to the bargaining table in hopes of working out a deal with the railroad operators.