On Monday, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division track maintenance workers voted to oppose the five-year contract. Over half of the workers rejected a 24 percent raise and $5,000 bonuses.
Union President Tony Cardwell said “the railroads didn’t do enough to address the lack of paid time off — particularly sick time — and working conditions after the major railroads eliminated nearly one-third of their jobs over the past six years.”
“Railroaders are discouraged and upset with working conditions and compensation and hold their employer in low regard. Railroaders do not feel valued,” Cardwell said in a statement. “They resent the fact that management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their stubborn reluctance to provide a higher quantity of paid time off, especially for sickness.”
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way union said it agreed to delay any strike until five days after Congress reconvenes in mid-November to allow time for additional negotiations.
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.
We will continue to monitor railroad issues and keep you posted.