Railroad union votes to authorize strike that could hit the economy

One of the unions representing railroad workers said Wednesday that its members rejected a proposed deal with rail carriers and voted to go ahead with the strike, which could have dire consequences for the US economy. .

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers issued a statement saying that its approximately 4,900 members rejected it. temporary settlement with the National Carriers Convention Committee (NCCC), representing the railroads, but noted that they would be on strike for at least a few weeks while other unions continued their negotiations.

A BNSF train pulls out of the yard

A BNSF rail terminal worker monitors the departure of a freight train on June 15, 2021 in Gelsburg, Ill. (AP photo/Shafqat Anwar, file) ((AP Photo/Shafqat Anwar, File)/AP Newsroom)

“The provisional agreement has been rejected and a strike authorization vote by IAM District 19 members has been approved,” IAM District 19 said in a statement. “In respect of other unions in the ratification process, an extension has been agreed to September 29, 2022 at 12 p.m. ET. This extension will allow us to continue negotiating changes with the NCCC in the hope of achieving an agreement.” Subscription will be confirmed.”

“IAM Freight Rail members are skilled professionals who have worked in difficult conditions through the pandemic to ensure that essential products reach their destinations,” the statement continued.

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“We look forward to continuing that important work with a fair contract that ensures that our members and their families are treated with the respect they deserve by protecting America’s goods and resources from the pandemic.” IAM is grateful for the support of those who are working towards one. Our members and freight railway employees want a common settlement as a solution.”

A goods train parked in the rail yard

In this July 27, 2015, file photo, a BNSF Railway Company train stands in Seattle. ((AP Photo/Ellen Thompson, FILE)/AP Newsroom)

The IAM is one of four unions that have stuck to a deal negotiated by the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), appointed by President Biden. Another eight rail unions have agreed to the plan.

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Two other major rail unions indicated over the weekend that they would not sign off without further concessions from the railroad. Leaders of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) Teamsters Rail Conference issued a joint statement on Sunday, saying the PEB proposal was not sufficient to improve work. Terms for members.

Joe Biden Marty Walshow

President Biden and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh attend a Labor Day visit to United Steelworkers of America Local Union 2227 on September 5, 2022 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Both Biden and Walsh are involved in talks aimed at avoiding a rail strike. , (Photo by Mandel NGAN/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The Biden Administration Is Currently Involved The Association of American Railroads (AAR) says negotiations to avert the strike would cost more than $2 billion a day, hurting businesses and consumers alike.

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If no agreement is reached by the deadline, Congress is expected to be involved in preventing any shutdown. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she is now engaging with the White House and unions in an effort to avoid a strike, and said she would prefer to negotiate a settlement with Congress rather than act.

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