A little over five weeks ago, when last we visited the labor union issue with the American railroads, I wrote of the rather ignorant arrogance of those attempting to impose a solution from above:
Well, I may be wrong but…given the strained social fabric of the American Republic and the abuse it has taken from this corrupt, dismissive, and did I say corrupt ruling class over the last decade, I wouldn’t be so sure that another heavy handed edict from our parliament on those distant shores of DC will “settle” well with the workers or the railroads. …
Well, while the politically motivated stall game seems to have worked for that specific purpose…and the calm will likely extend beyond election day. But what then?
The deal brokered by the Biden administration included a 24 percent raise and annual bonuses, but some workers say it did not go far enough on sick leave and working conditions
Members of the third-largest rail union rejected the proposed five-year contract 56 percent to 43 percent, officials said. Both sides have agreed to resume negotiations until at least Nov. 19, and railroads are expected to continue operating normally in the meantime.
President Biden was personally involved in the talks — as were three of his Cabinet secretaries, his top economic adviser and his chief of staff — that led to the deal hammered out last month. He hailed it as a win for both carriers and workers.
But many union members were skeptical from the start, with some telling The Washington Post that the details were opaque. The plan included a 24 percent pay increase by 2024 — bringing the average wage to $110,000 a year — and $1,000 annual bonuses for five years. It also ensured health-care co-pays and deductibles would not increase.
But it seemed to include only one paid sick day, even after union leaders had pushed for 15.
… One of the sticking points was a points-based attendance policy adopted by some of the largest carriers earlier this year. Those policies can penalize workers for missing work for routine doctor’s appointments or family emergencies. …
Just to highlight that even more, there is your “Come on, man!” moment of the year: “President Biden was personally involved in the talks — as were three of his Cabinet secretaries, his top economic adviser and his chief of staff — that led to the deal…”. President Ferret Face, three Cabinet secretaries from the most hollow credentialed room of buffoons that can be assembled from the modern progressive pipeline of woke characters, and an advisor for this economic juggernaut? I hope the Washington Post wasn’t really trying to be serious with that line.
The third-largest maintenance workers’ union opposed the deal, saying concerns over paid time off remained unaddressed
Over half of track maintenance workers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division who voted opposed the five-year contract …
Four other railroad unions have approved their agreements with freight railroads including BNSF, Union Pacific, Kansas City Southern, CSX and Norfolk Southern, but all 12 unions representing 115,000 workers must ratify their contracts to prevent a strike. …
As for this (allegedly) opaque deal that allows only one sick day: four unions have accepted it, one has rejected it, and we have yet to hear from the other seven. (Why would four unions accept a contract that provides only one sick day? Color me suspicious.) Can Team Ferret Face get to “all twelve unions must ratify” from here? More importantly, once they stall past election day, will anyone on Team Ferret Face even care anymore? Anyway, watch for this issue to be underreported right up until the last minute…and then expect blame for the economic fallout to be (somehow) vectored toward the Republicans.