Reuters news service reported on Oct. 10 that one of the 12 unions involved in a tentative contract with major U.S. railroads has rejected the deal and will “reengage bargaining with the Class I freight carriers.”
notes that Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED) represents more 11,000 workers who build and maintain tracks and is one of a dozen unions in negotiations with the railroads. According to Reuters, only four of the 12 unions have ratified the agreement that was announced in September by President Joe Biden. Biden said at that time the unions and the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) “had reached a tentative deal, staving off a costly strike that could have crippled U.S. supply chains,” Reuters reported in its Oct. 10 story.
On Thursday, Sept. 15, Reuters had reported, “President Joe Biden’s administration secured a tentative deal on Thursday to avert a railway strike that could have wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, but union members angered by tough work conditions have yet to ratify the agreement.
“A deal between major U.S. railroads and unions representing tens of thousands of workers was reached after about 20 hours of talks brokered by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Workers agreed not to strike while votes are tallied over the next several weeks, avoiding a stoppage that could have started on Friday.”
The September agreement called for a “cooling off period as standard part of the ratification process after reaching a tentative deal overnight” to avert a shutdown in the event unions failed to ratify the agreement.
On Sept. 27 the news agency reported that a division of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers had reached a tentative contract deal with the NCCC after its members had previously rejected it.
The Oct. 10 story said the most recent vote “indicates that there is a lot of work to do to establish goodwill and improve the morale that has been broken by the railroads’ executives and Wall Street hedge fund managers.”