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Another rail union rejects deal, escalating strike threat ahead of holidays
Railroad companies ‘disappointed’ some unions rejected initial deal: Ian Jeffries
Association of American Railroads president and CEO Ian Jeffries says 6 out of 12 unions have agreed to the railroad worker contract negotiations.
A fourth rail union has rejected a tentative agreement with the nation's major freight railroads, raising the prospects of a nationwide strike that could kneecap the economy in the middle of the holiday season.
Members of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD), representing more than 28,000 workers, issued a split decision in the vote count announced Monday. Yardmasters represented by SMART-TD voted to ratify their contract, but a smaller group of some 1,300 train and engine service members voted against their separate contract.
All 12 unions involved in negotiations must ratify their new agreements to avert a potential work stoppage, which would decimate already fragile supply chains in the middle of the Christmas shopping rush. While eight have already agreed to the deal negotiated by the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) appointed by President Biden, a strike could happen as early as Dec. 9.
Congress is expected to step in if a deal is not reached between all parties by the deadline, and the group representing the nation's major freight railroads warned Monday that lawmakers need to be poised to do just that.
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