Joe Biden is calling for legislation to enforce the rejected deal for rail workers.
The reason that there has been no progress in negotiations in 3 years is because the railroad executives know that when push comes to shove, Congress will legislate a deal favorable to them.
Unless the bill is identical to the Union’s proposals, it’s a sell-out of the ordinary people that Biden purports to care about:
With less than two weeks until a railroad strike deadline, President Biden called on Congress on Monday to impose a deal negotiated with help from his administration this year to avert a shutdown of the country’s freight railroads.
“I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators — without any modifications or delay — to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown,” Biden said in his statement on Monday evening.
That deal was recently voted down by four railroad unions representing most of the union members. The rail workers have said they are angry and frustrated that the deal lacked paid sick days or other substantial changes to an attendance policy that penalizes workers for taking time off while they are sick.
Union officials have recently said it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the unions and major rail freight carriers would reach a deal over lingering issues before a Dec. 9 strike deadline.
The president said that while he was hesitant to push a deal that had been rejected by union members, acknowledging his promise to stand by unions, he also said a rail strike “would devastate our economy” and “hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.”
“As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” he said. “But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
All 12 unions need to vote individually to ratify their contracts, unless Congress imposes a contract. If one union moves to strike, all of the unions — which represent more than 115,000 rail workers — would probably move in solidarity, triggering an industry-wide work stoppage.
Well, we can always trust Pelosi to make it worse:
Less than 30 minutes after the White House sent out Biden’s statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) put out a statement saying the House will consider legislation this week to avert the rail strike. “The House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms — and send it to the Senate,” she said in a statement.
The existing deal was already a poison pill.
The union negotiators took the deal because they did not want to sabotage Democratic Party in the midterms.
It was a bad deal.
Unless the Democrats force a better deal down the Railroad’s throats, doing this is is a profoundly bad faith action toward rail workers, and workers generally.
This is worse than a crime, it is a mistake.