The Brandon Regime last week struck a tentative deal with rail workers to avert a strike.
However, the deal has the potential to fall apart because the union workers say they don’t have all the details on paid sick leave and ‘voluntarily assigned days off.’
Amtrak on Wednesday announced it would cancel all long distance trains starting Thursday, September 15 as a national rail strike loomed.
The Gateway Pundit reported last week about an impending major freight railroad strike set for Friday, September 16th. A strike would be devastating to the US supply chain and an already fragile Brandon economy.
Brandon’s Labor Secretary Marty Walsh helped negotiate a 24% pay increase over a period of 5 years to union workers.
The Brandon Regime also helped negotiated ‘better working conditions’ and ‘caps on what they have to pay out of pocket for healthcare’ – AP reported.
Brandon called it a “win for America” on Thursday.
“This agreement is a validation of what I have always believed: that unions and management can work together for the benefit of everyone,” Brandon said. “This is a win for America. Thank you all for getting this done.”
“This is a great deal for both sides in my view,” Brandon said. “This is also a victory for the railway companies. The railway companies will be able to retain and recruit workers. They will be able to operate effectively as a vital piece of our economy. They are really the backbone of the economy.”
However, the tentative deal may go sideways because union workers are still ‘pissed off’ and not happy with the contracts.
The Hill reported:
But nearly 36 hours after the agreement was announced, rail workers said they still didn’t have concrete details on sick leave and voluntarily assigned days off. That’s raised some doubts about just how strong the new contract language is.
Ron Kaminkow, an organizer at Railroad Workers United, which represents rank-and-file railroaders, said that there’s “a lot of anger, confusion and hostility” toward the new agreement, which many workers feel is intentionally vague.
“Workers are pissed off and this time we actually have a lot of leverage,” said a locomotive engineer at Norfolk Southern who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “I know I’m not going to accept anything less than what we deserve.”
The two largest rail unions warned during negotiations that their members wouldn’t approve a contract that doesn’t quell outrage over unpredictable scheduling, unsafe working conditions and a lack of sick leave.
For the strike threat to end, workers would need to feel that the proposed contract is far stronger than the deal offered by the PEB. A survey of rail workers at the SMART Transportation Division found that nearly 8 in 10 would have voted to reject that contract.
Another dilemma is that the tentative agreement reached Thursday only applies to SMART and the Brotherhood Of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the two largest rail unions, but not the other unions that agreed to contracts based on the less worker-friendly PEB guidance.
Those include nearly 5,000 rail workers at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers who voted to reject the PEB contract and authorize a strike last week. The union said it would resume negotiations this week and hold off on a strike until at least Sept. 29.