Railroad workers and unions are ramping up pressure on the U.S. Congress and Joe Biden to address poor working conditions in the wake of the recent move to block a strike when Congress voted to impose a contract agreement.
The Guardian reports that workers and labor activists in America have criticized that action for undermining the collective bargaining process in the U.S. and workers’ right to strike.
Now the imposed contract provides just one extra day of personal time off, with no days allotted for illnesses, and three days a year for doctor appointments with stipulations.
“The fight to guarantee paid sick leave for rail workers is not over and we will not back down until we win,” said the Transportation Trades Department of AFL-CIO in a statement.
Railroad workers’ unions held a rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC December 13, to push for action on issues facing railroad workers. Additional rallies are planned in Massachusetts, Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming.
More than 70 members of Congress have signed a letter urging Biden to guarantee seven days of paid sick leave for railroad workers.
The Federal Railway Administration also held a hearing on December 14 on a proposed rule to mandate a two-person train crew safety rule which is being opposed by the rail industry that has been trying to impose train crews of one worker. On December 13 and 14 the Surface Transportation Board also held hearings on Union Pacific’s role in supply chain issues.
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