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Grand Imperial Poobah
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Union rail workers unhappy with the new contract proposals from major freight railroads brokered by the Biden administration say their voices are not being heard, arguing that the deal struck in September granted unfair leverage to their employers in a dispute that could very well result in a nationwide strike.

Workers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED), the third largest of the 12 unions part of the negotiations, became the first labor organization to reject the new contract earlier this month.
BMWED union representatives then presented the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents major railroads like BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, with additional demands from the workers.

But the NCCC turned those down and noted that BMWED union leadership "hailed the tentative agreement" the workers rejected, saying in response that "now is not the time to introduce new demands that rekindle the prospect of a railroad strike" after President Biden's Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) "carefully considered and rejected" those "additional benefits."

One BMWED member, who has worked at CSX for several years and spoke with FOX Business on the condition of anonymity, said the demands are not new and that the union should not have agreed to the tentative agreement in the first place.

"What hurt us is our union officials accepted it," the worker said.

It is true that the new contract would mean the biggest pay hike for rail workers in 50 years, amounting to a 24% collective raise over the course of the five-year contract retroactive to 2020, and $5,000 in bonuses.

The BMWED member noted, however, that when looking at the raises on an annual basis, they do not keep up with inflation.
Some union members FOX Business who spoke with were fine with the pay increases in the contract but cast doubt on the NCCC's claims on what rail workers actually make. The railroads' negotiators claim the workers impacted by the new contracts made an average of $122,000 per year as of 2018. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a railroad worker was $64,150 as of 2021.

Regardless, the workers agreed on one major thing they are fighting for: a better way to take sick time off.

"The NCCC stated we have sick benefits, that is true. But to start claiming the benefits, you need to be off 7 days – 7 days without pay," the BMWED member said.

He recalled one worker who took off 10 days because he had COVID-19 and was paid only $74 over that time. A lot of workers have to use vacation time in order to get paid for such absences, he says, and that is a sacrifice in their career field.

"Most guys spend over 230 days away from their families a year, so our vacation is very important," the worker said. "My grandfather died, and instead of being with my family, I had to work and use vacation for his funeral. We do not get hardly any time whatsoever. Or you have guys come in sick with COVID because they don't want to lose a paycheck."

Another rail employee who works for Norfolk Southern and has not yet voted on their new contract but plans to vote against it told FOX Business the time off and scheduling is a major factor for him. He is a member of SMART UTU, a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

The SMART UTU member said there have been times he has sat in a hotel room for a week without pay because there was no incentive for the company to send him back home at the end of an assignment.

That time away from family is a significant strain, the Norfolk Southern employee said. He recalled having his time off request for his daughter's high graduation turned down and said other workers had bereavement time declined at the passing of parents and in-laws. One time, he says, he worked three full months without a day off.

Rail workers are also concerned that they have to pay the difference when their health care premiums rise, and they argue they need more away-from-home expenses reimbursed because they are well below the national average in food and mileage per diems. They are asking to be closer to the federal standard rate.

"It's $8 a day for a meal a day," the SMART UTU worker said. "So, they will reimburse you $8, which is ridiculous because I don't think you can buy McDonald's for $8."

The railroad employees are also feeling strained from working on skeleton crews, dealing with the aftermath of the industry as a whole slashing tens of thousands of jobs in recent years.

"With the way things are, what we are asking for is very reasonable," the BMWED member says. "We don't want to strike, we wouldn't get paid very well if we do. The companies have made billions off us during the pandemic. We never received bonuses, no extra pay. We received strict attendance policies, told that we weren't important, longer hours and less time at home."

"We are not trying to be greedy, just wanting to make an honest living," he says. "The carriers are portraying us as the bad guys, and the unions are trying to make their Democratic buddies happy in Congress while we sit back not having a contract for almost three years."
 

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The Biden team seems to be doing all it can to prevent crises from blowing up — not by resolving the problems, but by putting off the explosions until after the election.

there was a report that when the Biden team got the news that OPEC+ might be considering a production cut, they pressured Saudi Arabia to ask OPEC+ to put it off for a month. That way, it wouldn’t go into effect until right before the election and the effect wouldn’t be felt by American voters until after the election. They even threatened the Saudis that our relationship with them would be harmed if the Saudis didn’t do what they said. But the Saudis said that they thought the election was the reason for it. They didn’t agree because they have their economy and interests to be concerned about. But the Biden team accused them of siding with Russia.

Now there appears to be yet another instance of “election deception” by the Biden team.

The danger of a rail strike may be looming again. There are a dozen unions involved and if any one of them has an issue, it means the strike is on.
In this case, the union that’s upset now is the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, which announced Monday that its members had voted down the deal.
The Biden team touted that they worked out a deal averting a rail strike as a “victory.”

But what they did get the unions to agree to involve the “election deception” of which I speak.
They worked out a required “cooling off period” so even though one rejected the deal, the strike wouldn’t happen right away. Guess how long that “cooling-off period” is?
No strike will happen before the end of the so-called cooling-off period in late November — after the midterm elections — and negotiations are continuing between the freight railroad industry and a dozen unions. But one labor organization’s vote this week to reject a White House-brokered compromise is fostering new dangers of a work stoppage that would halt 40 percent of the nation’s freight traffic — imperiling Americans’ food, drinking water and electricity supplies as well as the holiday shopping season.
So they traded a strike that could hit now before the election that would hurt their chances
for a possible strike hit after the election,
right in the middle of the holiday season so it would hurt even more Americans.

 

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Remember that looming threat of a railroad strike, the one that spelled such potential doom for America that the Biden administration started butting its head into negotiations? Well, that was only paused for a contract vote — the threat was delayed, never resolved. Now, with the rejection of yet another potential contract, railroad workers are closer than ever to showing their bosses the true power of a united workforce. With sewage.

Strikes have side effects, and New Yorkers would quickly notice a particularly undesirable one. See, New York City generates about 2.4 million pounds of human waste every day, and 87 percent of that waste leaves the city by freight train. If those rails shut down, the Big Apple could start to smell just the slightest bit worse.

Of course, the panic around a shitty New York situation only serves to help the railroad workers’ cause.
Clearly, railroad workers are necessary to the fabric of our society — even basic sanitation functions fall apart without their labor.
It sure seems like their work merits better pay and an actual structure to allow time off for family commitments, medical procedures, and the like.
(And if you haven’t been following the strike negotiations, yes: railroad workers are fighting for, among other things, the ability to take time off for medical care and family commitments. Their demands are that basic.)

So if you’re based in New York, like much of the Jalopnik staff, you may run into some new smells over the next few weeks. The situation out here may get, for lack of a better word, crappier.
But it all goes to prove how integral railroad workers are to the basic function of this city, and this country as a whole. Why not give them the pay and benefits befitting that oh-so-necessary role?

Interesting: New York City's Poop Train
 
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Salmon Slayer
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So after this inflation scenario is over are these high wages go back to what they were before OBiden took over?
 

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So after this inflation scenario is over are these high wages go back to what they were before OBiden took over?
Inflated prices NEVER go back down. That's partly because wages don't go down.

In some cases, prices go down because of various reasons but not because inflation has gone away.

Remember, true inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. People have more money so they can pay more for the stuff they need. But because there is less stuff to be had, they HAVE to pay more because of the simple Economics 101 topic, The Demand Curve.

So, when inflation comes back under control it's because there are fewer dollars flying around or more goods in production so The Demand Curve does it's magic the other way around.

--Wag--
 

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With a potential rail strike less than two weeks away, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NewsNation’s Leland Vittert that a shutdown “is not acceptable”

So, Amtrak Joe: rail strike edition could be coming again to a political theater near you, albeit with no pressure of an election.
Biden still must deal with soaring prices and high inflation.
The irony of the rail strike crisis is that Biden didn’t solve it.
He only bought some time to prevent an election day disaster.
The rail agreement could collapse as the rank-and-file vote on this tentative deal in the proceeding weeks.
Given the political acumen of our current political leadership,
don’t be shocked if things fall apart.
In which case, the Biden White House’s pervasive incompetence would be displayed for all to see again.
Joe Biden Knows There Could Still Be a Rail Strike, Right?

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, credited by unions with a key role in the tentative agreement that averted a railroad strike in September, says he expects Congress will act to block a possible strike later this month.

With these three at the wheel.
Cloud Sky Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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I don't feel sorry for any of them. Nobody has a gun to their heads making them work for a railroad or joining a union. If they don't like their jobs they can go elsewhere and starve to death if they think they have it bad now. If they're going to hold the country hostage, they should be replaced. Problem is, Biden doesn't have the balls that Reagan had over the PATCO issue when he put PATCO on notice, they didn't believe him and he fired every single one of them. Biden will suck up to them.
 

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"The time and place for unions to have beneficial returns for the general population......... is now ...........

The unions don't represent the "general population", nor have they ever existed for benefit of the general population. They always have provided support for specific people. And they always threaten to strike or do so at times of opportunity.

The flip side is to let the "elite management" run the world and give themselves the bonuses to augment their obscene salaries.

"Biden still must deal with soaring prices and high inflation."

Really? Given his life history of lying, incompetence and thievery, when is the above going happen?

Enter the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes often!
 

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AZHerper
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"The time and place for unions to have beneficial returns for the general population......... is now ...........

The unions don't represent the "general population", nor have they ever existed for benefit of the general population. They always have provided support for specific people. And they always threaten to strike or do so at times of opportunity.

The flip side is to let the "elite management" run the world and give themselves the bonuses to augment their obscene salaries.

"Biden still must deal with soaring prices and high inflation."

Really? Given his life history of lying, incompetence and thievery, when is the above going happen?

Enter the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes often!
Si!
 

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Railroad workers have expressed dismay at Joe Biden’s proposed solution to a looming strike that threatens to derail the US economy, which they say belies his image as the most pro-union president in generations.

As a 9 December deadline looms for the long-running labor dispute between the US’s largest railway companies and their unions, Biden has called on Congress to intervene and block a strike that could cost the US economy about $2bn a day by some estimates.

But union leaders are unhappy that Biden’s solution appears to be the imposition of a settlement reached in September that has already been rejected by many for failing to address members’ concerns about pay, sick days, staff shortages and time off.

“Joe Biden blew it,” said Hugh Sawyer, treasurer of Railroad Workers United, a group representing workers from a variety of rail unions and carriers. “He had the opportunity to prove his labor-friendly pedigree to millions of workers by simply asking Congress for legislation to end the threat of a national strike on terms more favorable to workers. Sadly, he could not bring himself to advocate for a lousy handful of sick days. The Democrats and Republicans are both pawns of big business and the corporations.”

Matt Parker, a locomotive engineer and chairman of the Nevada State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, said: “The overly simplistic approach that the administration has taken to this whole issue shows how out of touch they are with the plight of railroad workers.”

Railroad workers have threatened industrial action over their lack of paid sick time and the rail companies’ disciplinary attendance systems in which they are penalized for taking unpaid time off, an issue workers say has contributed to a lack of a work-life balance on the job.

At Biden’s request, the House of Representatives took action on Wednesday, passing two resolutions.
The first resolution, which passed 290-137, would require workers to accept the tentative agreement the Biden administration negotiated in September.

That deal included an increase in pay and an additional personal day, but failed to address demands workers had over paid sick leave. Currently, rail workers don’t have guaranteed paid sick days and have to use vacation time instead. They do have access to paid leave for longer-term illnesses, according to the Association of American Railroads, but for shorter-term issues like an unplanned illness or a medical emergency, workers have said they have few options. This means that workers often need to get time off approved in advance, which is tough to do if they unexpectedly get sick.

The addition of a single personal day in the September agreement was intended to reflect this concern, though it fell short of doing so — and has prompted multiple unions to reject the deal.

The second House measure, which passed 221-207, would provide seven paid sick days, in an attempt to address workers’ concerns. Three Republicans joined Democrats to approve the measure that included sick days.

Democrats’ decision to add a vote on paid sick days comes after major blowback from lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and rail unions, who were disappointed by Biden’s push to approve a deal that did not adequately tackle this issue.

Both resolutions now head to the Senate,

 

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Unplanned illness?

And if the legislation passes and Brandon signs it and they still strike..... what? Is Brandon going to call out the military to run the railroad? Is Congress going to learn to drive trains ACTUALLY on the tracks without wrecking them? I'm anxious to see how the Greatest President of all times is going to solve this problem...

Alan
 
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The Senate on Thursday passed legislation to avert a rail shutdown
following a grave warning from President Joe Biden about the economic danger posed by a strike.
The House passed the tentative rail agreement on Wednesday.
The measure can now be sent to the president to be signed into law.

One potential complication in the effort to pass a bill had been a push by progressives to add a provision to the agreement related to paid sick leave.
On Thursday, the Senate failed to pass a House-passed paid sick leave measure backed by progressives.

Calling himself a “proud pro-labor President,” Biden said in his Monday statement, “I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
 
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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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What is fascism? Scholars have said it is a variety of leftist political belief that is militaristic, nationalistic, committed to strong leader, biased against selected minorities, and tightly connected to business and corporate power. Once in power, fascists routinely direct the economy, dominate the media, and exercise wide-ranging social control.

Although remaining privately held, fascists control the means of production.
 
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