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A BLET-backed bill currently making its way through the United States Senate would restore full unemployment and sickness benefits to all railroad workers. For more than 10 years now, individual railroad workers have unfairly had these benefits reduced by about $200 per month.

The bipartisan Railroad Employee Equity and Fairness Act (S. 1274) was unanimously passed by the Senate Budget Committee on March 6. Known as the REEF Act, the bill would restore full unemployment and sickness benefits to railroad workers by removing the harmful sequester that was implemented in 2013. The REEF Act was introduced in the Senate by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The BLET and its members performed a significant amount of lobbying heading into the March 6 hearing. More than 200 locomotive engineers and Teamster members traveled from across the country to Washington, D.C. to visit with members of Congress to lobby for swift passage of the REEF Act. Countless more have called, emailed, and visited district offices.

Now that it has Senate Budget Committee approval, the bill will be considered by all members of the Senate. BLET members are urged to use the Take Action legislative outreach tool ( on the National Division website to contact their U.S. Senator to tell them to support the REEF Act (S. 1274). BLET members can share their own personal story in support of the REEF Act or submit the pre-written statement to their Senators.