The Biden Administration called for Congress to ready legislation to implement the tentative agreements and avert a $2 billion per day rail work stoppage that could begin as early as 12:01 AM ET on December 9th. Time is limited to bring this round of national bargaining to a conclusion before the status quo expires.
“No one benefits from a rail work stoppage – not our customers, not rail employees and not the American economy,” said AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “Now is the appropriate time for Congress to pass legislation to implement the agreements already ratified by eight of the twelve unions. A clear pattern of ratified agreements has been established and Congressional action to prevent a work stoppage in this manner is appropriate. These agreements will ultimately boost average employee compensation and benefits to more than $160,000.”
Eight of the 12 labor unions plus a portion of SMART-TD’s membership have now fully agreed to contracts forged in part by the leadership of the Biden Administration. These deals provide employees with a 24 percent wage increase over the five-year period from 2020 to 2024 and preserve employees’ best-in-class healthcare coverage. Employees represented by unions who have already ratified are already benefitting from an 14.1% wage and immediate payouts that will average $16,000 across all unionized railroaders.