Members of one of the biggest train unions in the country narrowly rejected a tentative contract, likewise, a rail strike may occur.
About 28,000 rail conductors are represented by the Smart Transportation Division union. Which reported that just under 51% of its members rejected the proposal. By a vote of 53.5% to 46.5%, the 24,000-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, supported the deal.
The solution reached in September. Labor leaders and train businesses with the assistance of the Biden administration rejected by the conductors’ “no” vote.
The nation’s water supply, coal shipments, and passenger rail service might all be at risk from a nationwide rail strike that could start as early as December 5.
A strike by train workers could cost the American economy $2 billion per day. As a major rail hub, Chicago would undoubtedly see the repercussions. Commuter rail service may also be impacted.
According to Crain, delays on four out of the 11 Metra lines that connect Chicago with the northern and western suburbs would affect 80,000 journeys or nearly 60% of passengers.
The agreement made in September with Marty Walsh, the secretary of labor, would have increased salaries by over 25% over five years, beginning retroactively in 2020, when the previous contract expired.
However, the toughest problem that initially drew the unions and the rail operators to the negotiating table—grinding, erratic schedules, protracted periods of on-call work, and restrictions on when and how to take time off for vacations or medical care—is not addressed by the wage increase.
Written By Dylan Santoyo
Crain’s Chicago Business: Rail strike possible in two weeks as key union rejects deal
CNN: America faces a possible rail strike in two weeks after largest union rejects labor deal
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