As previously reported in this space, the rail strike still looms, despite Biden taking a victory lap back in September.
Now we have a major union rejecting the deal, with the strike scheduled for December 5th. The other unions will stand with their striking brothers. If you need stuff, get it now.
Large rail union SMART-TD votes to reject labor deal as national strike moves closer
SMART-TD, one of the largest railroad labor unions, voted down a tentative agreement with rail management, raising the likelihood of a strike in December. The BLET, the other largest union, voted to ratify the labor deal but said it will honor the picket line.
“It’s now back to the bargaining table for our operating craft members,” said Jeremy Ferguson, president of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division. “This can all be settled through negotiations and without a strike. A settlement would be in the best interests of the workers, the railroads, shippers and the American people.”
“We stood shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in SMART-TD and others in rail labor throughout this process and we will continue to stand in solidarity with them as we approach the finish line in this round of negotiations,” said Dennis Pierce, president of BLET, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.
The BMWED, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, is scheduled to strike Dec. 5 with the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, or BRS. But BMWED announced it would extend its cooling-off period if one of the larger unions voted not to ratify the tentative labor deal. The BRS has not indicated whether it will extend its deadline for talks.
SMART-TD, BMWED and BRS represent more than 50% of all rail labor.
BMWED and BRS have another round of talks with railroad carriers Monday afternoon on federal sick pay.