Link: Very close to a railroad worker strike

AlexanderFan

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As if the 2020s haven’t been “fun” enough, railroad workers are very near a strike. I doubt it would be very long, (railroad workers are like air traffic controllers), but who knows what would happen.


Typically PEBs under Democratic administrations are viewed as labor friendly, but these are the 2020s.

Put this over here due to the polarizing nature of unions.
 

Tug Tide

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92tide

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You’re correct…
the west coast strike in early 2015 really screwed up our year in my previous company. we went a few months without being able to ship anything out of seattle/tacoma or la/lb. it was a complete mess.
 

AlexanderFan

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I thought about applying for railyard work a few years back. The hours and pay suck and the work is awful.
It’s compounded by the company’s disregard for the working agreements.

There was a time the compensation was well above normal and all you really needed was a work ethic and a willingness to work nights and weekends. The last fifteen years or so the “raises “ havent outpaced the cost of living and you have people with over ten years leaving because it’s simply not worth it anymore.
 
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Tidewater

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As if the 2020s haven’t been “fun” enough, railroad workers are very near a strike. I doubt it would be very long, (railroad workers are like air traffic controllers), but who knows what would happen.


Typically PEBs under Democratic administrations are viewed as labor friendly, but these are the 2020s.

Put this over here due to the polarizing nature of unions.
President Biden just gave a speech extolling the virtues of labor unions so I would expect the Biden Administration to back the union in this negotiation.
 
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AlexanderFan

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Little update: a Presidential Emergency Board was appointed, averting the first opportunity for “self help” (strike/lockout). That gives about thirty days while they look over the attempted negotiations and offer their proposals. The parties can accept or refuse. The Unions have already said that they would refuse. Self help then becomes an option once more. Then I believe Congress steps in and gives the final agreement. This is farther down this rabbit hole than I was ever part of in the last 17 years, so I’m interested in how it turns out.

To give you an idea how far apart they are: the unions asked for 40% pay raise, the companies 11%. The negotiations narrowed the gap to 28%\16%. There’s a lot of room to make up.
 
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Bamabuzzard

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Little update: a Presidential Emergency Board was appointed, averting the first opportunity for “self help” (strike/lockout). That gives about thirty days while they look over the attempted negotiations and offer their proposals. The parties can accept or refuse. The Unions have already said that they would refuse. Self help then becomes an option once more. Then I believe Congress steps in and gives the final agreement. This is farther down this rabbit hole than I was ever part of in the last 17 years, so I’m interested in how it turns out.

To give you an idea how far apart they are: the unions asked for 40% pay raise, the companies 11%. The negotiations narrowed the gap to 28%\16%. There’s a lot of room to make up.
Got-toe-mighty! Let me know if that gets passed, I may be in for a career change! LOL!
 

AlexanderFan

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Got-toe-mighty! Let me know if that gets passed, I may be in for a career change! LOL!
They are hurting for people. If you like it rough, put your application in.

It’s a lot of money for a high school education, but the true test is the stubbornness it takes to stay out there, and the strength of your family with you missing everything because of the uncertainty.
 

Elefantman

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Little update: a Presidential Emergency Board was appointed, averting the first opportunity for “self help” (strike/lockout). That gives about thirty days while they look over the attempted negotiations and offer their proposals. The parties can accept or refuse. The Unions have already said that they would refuse. Self help then becomes an option once more. Then I believe Congress steps in and gives the final agreement. This is farther down this rabbit hole than I was ever part of in the last 17 years, so I’m interested in how it turns out.

To give you an idea how far apart they are: the unions asked for 40% pay raise, the companies 11%. The negotiations narrowed the gap to 28%\16%. There’s a lot of room to make up.
How long have they been working under the current contract? I imagine these negotiations have been going on for years.
 

AlexanderFan

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So the PEB recommendations have came out and the rank and file that I know are not very pleased with the recommendations (show me a worker who ever is though).

22% raise (14% immediately)
$5,000 bonus (paid over five years, three installments left)

The downside:
Raised the cap on insurance costs to 15% of the plan
No additional time off

The railroads (who negotiate collectively as do the railroad workers) seem willing to take this and run with it. The Union members don’t, while the Union management seems to want to accept these terms.

For now there is another thirty day cooling off period. Following that, “self help” can begin. A worker strike would have Congress immediately step in, put them back to work, and draft a set of terms that would be non-negotiable and binding for both parties. This is the farthest down this road the railroads have been in almost twenty years. I’m curious as to what Congress would draft if given the chance. I feel the railroads think Congress would be more favorable to the workers than the PEB recommendations.

Finally, if you ever wonder why workers unionize, here is a direct quote from the committee’s response to the PEB report.
 

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Tug Tide

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Not looking good. 3 of 12 Unions have not signed new contracts.


“The potential shutdown, which could come as early as Friday, could freeze almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments, stoke inflation, impede supplies of food and fuel, cost the U.S. economy about $2 billion per day and cause transportation woes.

Railroads including Union Pacific, Berkshire Hathaway’s BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern have until a minute after midnight on Friday to reach tentative deals with three hold-out unions representing about 60,000 workers.”
 
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