National Contract Negotiations
Railroads were catapulted into national headlines in the fall as labor negotiations came down to the wire, raising the prospect of the first strike or lockout in three decades.
But the battle scars still remain and those scars must be healed in order for the rail industry not only to fully restore service levels but also to thrive and assume the role as a vital and necessary freight transportation mode.
Billionaire Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest men in the world and the CEO of BNSF Railway’s parent company, saw his wealth jump by nearly $1.4 billion in a single day earlier this week, a sum that could easily fund 15 days of paid sick leave for every rail worker in the United States.
In North Platte, we don’t see political parties when we see our railroader neighbors. We see people who deserve respect and care for their health and well-being. Just as we all do.
Bernie Sanders calls out Warren Buffett for getting richer as rail workers fight for better working conditions
Sen. Bernie Sanders has called out Warren Buffett for making billions of dollars, while rail employees are fighting for paid sick leave and better working conditions.
For most other people, even those employed in entry level occupations elsewhere, an allotment of annual sick leave is customary. It only makes sense that most successful companies do not want sick employees in the workplace risking infection and further absenteeism to others. Not so the railroads.
In September, President Joe Biden stepped in to help with labor negotiations between unions and major freight railroads, and a strike was averted with a tentative agreement. Four of the 12 unions have since voted against the agreement.
The deadline to request a replacement ballot is November 18, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Watch video: Presidents of the two largest rail unions discuss the proposed contract and take questions from engineers and conductors
On November 9, BLET President Dennis Pierce was joined by Jeremy Ferguson, the president of the SMART Transportation Division, at a town hall meeting held near Cleveland, Ohio.
The U.S. chemical manufacturing industry is one of the largest users of freight rail, shipping more than 33,000 carloads per week, and it is forecasting billions of dollars in economic damage if a labor deal isn’t reached between rail companies and unions before a potential strike in December.