Senate approves railroad labor agreement before strike deadline


Jorden McVeagh, Editor 

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In a follow-up to my recent article regarding railroad union strikes, I bring you the news that the US Senate has approved an agreement that will pass on to President Joe Biden. This agreement is major as it prevents the rail unions from going on strike. At the final act there was an effort to include seven days of paid sick leave that didn’t end up making the final draft. This was an important bill for the US economy as any strike would hinder the transportation of goods raising their market prices, and the importance of this was reflected in the Senate’s voting. The bill passed through with 80 in favor and a mere 15 against. President Biden has already stated that he will sign the bill if it were to make it across his desk. Now, as for what the final bill looks like, it is similar to what was discussed in my previous article. Railroad workers will see a pay increase of 24% over the next five years with the dates of this arrangement going from 2020 to 2024, payouts will average $11,000, and an extra paid day off. The passing of this bill was accepted by the union. They even went as far as to release a statement saying, “our members are forced to work more hours, have less stability, suffer more stress, and receive less rest… No American worker should ever have to face the decision of going to work sick, fatigued or mentally unwell versus getting fired by their employer.” While no worker should go to work sick in any way, I get what they are saying. Hopefully, the terms of the agreement will be sufficient for long term stability in terms of pay and worker treatment on the railroads. Now how does this benefit the average consumer? It will mean that we won’t have to pay higher prices as the Christmas and New Year’s holidays roll around the corner. Products will be imported and exported easily and without delay which won’t create a shortage of the products on the market. While this is big for the current time of year the more important figure is that gas and the chemicals used in making it will be easily transported. This means gas prices will hover around the same prices that they sit at currently instead of potentially jumping up. This will save the consumer money on gas from traveling all over the place for their shopping. Overall, the union coming to an agreement is good for both parties. Workers get a pay structure and work environment they feel safe and happy in, and the consumer’s wallet doesn’t have to suffer because of the shortage that would have come from the strike.

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