Just weeks after a union representing rail workers across the nation rejected a proposed labor agreement, a second union has now also voted down the national tentative agreement, further reigniting the potential for a national railway strike.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) voted against ratification of the tentative agreement which was reached on Sept. 15. The BRS’s collective ‘no’ joins the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division’s ‘no’ expressed earlier this month.
Nearly 61% of the 4,639 workers voting in the BRS ballot rejected the agreement. The BRS represents more than 6,000 members active in the rail negotiations.
“For the first time that I can remember, the BRS members voted not to ratify a national agreement, and with the highest participation rate in BRS history,” commented BRS president Michael Baldwin.
The national tentative agreement reached by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) and the Presidential Emergency Board “failed to recognize the safety-sensitive and highly stressful job BRS members perform each day to keep the railroad running and supply chain flowing,” Baldwin stated. “Without Signalmen, the roadways and railroad crossings would be unsafe for the traveling public, and they shoulder that heavy burden each day.”
As a result of the rejection of the agreement, the BRS will now reengage with the NCCC in a “status quo” period.
By Laura Miller, Laura@SteelMarketUpdate.com
Laura MillerRead more from Laura Miller
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