Remember earlier this fall when the country came within hours of a nationwide rail strike?
We could soon see a repeat of that scenario. The nation’s freight rail companies and some of their workers have yet to settle on a new contract after three years of negotiations.
You could be forgiven for thinking — Wait, what? Wasn’t there a deal?
Well, yes and no.
In mid-September, following marathon negotiations in Washington that dragged on into the wee hours of the morning, there was an agreement — a tentative one. Based largely on the recommendations of an emergency board appointed by President Biden, the deal gave workers a 24% raise over five years, one additional personal day, and modest modifications to strict attendance policies, among other things.
President Biden called it an important win for the economy, the American people, and for rail companies and workers alike.
But a significant number of rail workers have said it’s not enough.
The proposed wage increases barely keep up with inflation, they say, while their health care premiums could nearly double by the end of the contract. Moreover, paid sick days are not part of the agreement. For some, that’s proving to be a deal breaker.
Read more at NPR.org