National Contract Negotiations
IT IS NOW HEREBY RESOLVED:
1. The Advisory Board unanimously supports the decision made by the National Wage Committee to send the Tentative Agreement to the membership for their consideration.
2. The Advisory Board further recognizes that our Bylaws require that the membership be given the right to vote on the contract, and fully respects their right to vote in favor of or against the Tentative Agreement. Should the Tentative Agreement fail ratification, every member of the Advisory Board will be on the picket line with the membership when the cooling-off period ends.
Once the Q&A session is complete, the tentative plan is to distribute ballots to the affected members on or around Friday, October 14, with a tentative count date on or around November 17, 2022.
The fact that there is not a freight railroad strike happening this week is a huge win for the US economy and its still struggling supply chain.
And I think railroad management has to recognize the bargain it gets, and adjust its scheduling, staffing and service requirements to enhance the ability of this bargain resource to do what it has done over the past forty years—deliver the goods.
Top level government officials, even the president himself, were compelled to make the grievances of railroad workers their top priority. This is testament to the huge power that the working class holds when it is organized and willing to fight.
The short story behind the now-averted railroad strike is this: The largest freight railroad carriers in the country were willing to cripple the transportation infrastructure of the United States rather than allow their workers to take the occasional day off to see a doctor or attend to their families.
While not directly applicable to ongoing negotiations at U.S. West Coast ports and upcoming talks at United Parcel Service, the rail workers’ potential win could embolden other workers who have toiled through the COVID-19 pandemic while watching employers reap record profits, labor experts said.
While the tentative agreement means Nebraska’s agriculture sector avoided the worst of the effects, they still see the impacts of the ongoing staffing crisis on rail lines first hand, said Nebraska Farm Bureau’s president Mark McHargue.
What was missing from many recent headlines? The actual reason for the conflict between railroad workers and their employers. The potential strike or lockout was not because of any dispute over pay, but because of inhumane attendance policies that currently mean railroad engineers and conductors are either working or “on call” 90 percent of the time.
Unions and management reached a tentative deal early Thursday, averting a freight railroad strike that had threatened to cripple US supply chains and push prices higher for many goods.