Largest freight rail union rejects contract agreement

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
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It’s back to the drawing board for tens of thousands of rail workers.

SMART Transportation Division, the largest freight rail union representing 28,000 conductors and other trainmen, has rejected the tentative agreement brokered by the Biden administration in September.

The vote was extremely narrow — 50.87% voted against the deal.

Another large rail union — the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen — voted to ratify the agreement by 53.5%.

The agreement gives workers a 24% raise over five years, an additional personal day and caps on health care costs. It also includes some modifications to the railroads’ strict attendance policies, allowing workers to attend to medical needs without facing penalties for missing work.

There are now four unions, with a combined membership of close to 60,000 workers, who have voted down the agreement.


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Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!