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Railroad unions vote to approve strike that could hurt economy

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One of the unions representing railroad workers said Wednesday that members voted to reject a proposed deal with railroad companies and go ahead with a strike that could severely impact the U.S. economy.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers issued a statement saying some 4,900 members had rejected a tentative agreement with the National Carrier Council Commission (NCCC), which represents railroads, but would go on strike for at least several years. Said it would be postponed. weeks while the other unions continued their talks.

BNSF train pulled out of yard

Workers at a BNSF rail terminal monitor the departure of a freight train in Galesburg, Illinois, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar, file) ((AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar, File) / AP Newsroom)

“The interim agreement was rejected and the strike approval ballot was approved by the members of IAM District 19,” IAM District 19 said in a statement. “Out of respect for other unions in the ratification process, an extension has been agreed until 29 September 2022 at 12pm ET. Member States will ratify.”

“IAM Freight Railway members are seasoned professionals who have worked in difficult conditions throughout the pandemic to ensure essential products reach their destination,” the statement continued.

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“We look forward to continuing that important work with fair contracts that ensure our members and their families are treated with the respect they deserve to keep America’s goods and resources moving through the pandemic. .IAM is the solution because our members and freight rail workers want a fair deal.”

A freight train parked at a shunting yard

In this July 27, 2015 file photo, a BNSF Railroad Company train stops in Seattle. ((AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) / AP Newsroom)

The IAM is one of four unions withholding a deal presented by the President Biden-appointed Presidential Emergency Committee (PEB). Another eight railroad unions agreed to the plan.

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Two other major railroad unions signaled over the weekend that they would not sign without further concessions from railroads: Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). ) Teamsters Rail Conference leaders issued a joint statement on Sunday saying PEB’s proposals were not sufficient to improve work. Terms of Membership.

Joe Biden Marty Walsh

President Biden and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh attend Labor Day visit to National Steelworkers Local Union 2227 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, Sept. 5, 2022. ( (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Biden administration is now involved in negotiations to avoid a strike that, according to the American Railroad Association (AAR), would cost more than $2 billion a day and hurt both businesses and consumers. It is said to give.


Congress is expected to get involved to halt the shutdown if no deal is reached by the deadline. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she was working with the White House and unions to avoid a strike, adding she would rather see a negotiated solution than Congressional action.