Second Rail Union Rejects Deal, Increasing the Likelihood of Nationwide Strike


Another railworkers union has voted down a proposed contract with the Class I railroads, further raising the threat of a nationwide rail strike.

The vote by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen makes it the second railworkers union to reject the deal ushered in at the eleventh hour last month by Biden’s Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), setting the stage for a possible strike as soon as November 19.

Meanwhile, the railroads have rejected the BMWE union’s demand for 7 paid sick days and are digging in their heels for a new contracts to closely follow the special recommendations of the PEB, which only gives them one additional day of sick time.

So far, six unions, representing 115,000 workers, have voted to ratify their deals, while four – including the two largest unions – have yet to vote.  The unions, including the two that have rejected their deals, have until November 14 to reach an agreement.  At that time, unless all 12 unions approved deals, the threat of a work stoppage cannot be ruled out, unless Congress intervenes.