A second railroad union voted on October 26 against ratifying the tentative agreement brokered between the railroad managers, unions and members of President Joe Biden's administration. NPR News says the move increases the possibility of a rail strike in November that would endanger the national supply chain if a deal is not reached.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), which represents over 6,000 workers in the United States, announced that its members voted to reject the tentative agreement, sending the union back to the bargaining table with management.
In a statement, union president Michael Baldwin notes that it's the first time the union has voted against ratifying an agreement.
Sick leave policies continue to be at the center of talks. Unions argue current policies don't allow workers to take personal or sick time off. While the presidential emergency board appointed by President Biden negotiated increases in wages, it did not address the leave policies.
BRS, which represents workers who install and maintain signal systems, is not the only one. The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, the third largest railroad union, voted earlier in October to also reject the agreement. All 12 unions would need to independently accept a deal in order to avoid a potential strike.
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