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Unions Vote Down Rail Agreement

A railroad workers union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, is the second organization to vote down an agreement between rail unions, freight rail companies and the Biden administration proposed Sept. 15.

The BRS rejected the deal Oct. 26 with 39.23 percent of members approving and 60.57 percent voting not to approve. The group represents over 10,000 rail workers and is one of the last three unions in the industry. An agreement is critical to avoiding a nationwide rail strike. The rejection of the agreement begins a status quo period through Dec. 4.

Railroad groups have estimated that a rail strike could cost the economy $2 billion per day. Workers are seeking wage increases and improvements in benefits and conditions.

Union spokespersons have told media that railroads are underestimating union member resistance over issues related to quality of life and benefits including paid time off.

Under the Railway Labor Act, Congress has the ability to order the trains to operate as usual with an extension of negotiations.

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