WASHINGTON – House on Wednesday strongly approved legislation to prevent a nationwide railroad strike by introducing a labor agreement between railroad companies and their workers as lawmakers rushed to shield in economy from the threat of a holiday-season work stop and prevent violation in shipping across the country.
Act fast the day after President Biden made personal appeal to the White House, the House of Representatives passed a measure that force railroad companies and employees must abide by a preliminary agreement the Biden administration helped mediate earlier this year that boosted wages and set more flexible schedule for workers.
Bill passed on bipartisan vote of 290 by 137. Goes next to the Senate, where the leaders in Both sides have stated that they will move fast avoid failure in the country’s railway communication.
But with Liberal Democrats threaten to give up their votes if the legislation does not provide for additional paid leave, key demand of workers, house also was set approve a separate measure add seven days of sick leave compensation compact. This measure was mainly on party lines with a margin of 221–207 as the Democrats sent him to the Senate. with in support of just three Republicans. Federal law gives Congress power to intervene in railway labor disputes.
Several unions have abandoned the preliminary agreement because of deficit of paid family or sick leave; it includes one additional paid day off for personal vacation. With a pass of account, home took in first step force all 12 unions to accept this deal.
It was first time since the 1990s, when Congress used its power in accordance with the Law on Labor in Railway Transport intervene in a national railway labor dispute. Leaders in both parties said they did not want to do it, and some Democrats, especially Progressives, were deeply disappointed at being called to reject the will. of railroad workers press for basic rights in the workplace.
“In the end of day, we really believe that our work is to be entitled to paid holidays, and therefore we will stand with our workers and with our unions,” said Rep. Corey Bush, Democrat of Missouri, who was among the deputies who lobbied for a vote to add additional time off.
Understand Railroad Negotiations
Shutdown prevention. Congressional leaders pledged to prevent a nationwide railroad strike by agreeing with President Biden, what can it freeze critical a piece of in economy and potentially contribute to further inflation in United States. That’s what know:
But the threat of economic damage, as well as Mr. Biden’s personal appeal for Congress took the action, apparently giving the momentum needed to move the measure forward. with unusual speed.
“We are here to protect financial safety of Families of America to protect the American economy as it continues to recover and prevents devastating railroad closures across the country,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. of California, who defended the Biden administration record protection of trade unions and their workers in speech on house floor.
“The shutdown of railroads throughout the country would be a disaster – the shutdown would destroy our economy stop and everyone family feel the tension,” she said. added indicating the possibility of lost jobs and inability easy to transport various of goods throughout the country. “Time of The key is to act now.”
It was unclear if the paid leave proposal was bipartisan support necessary pass Senate, but bringing it up for approval, house left open up the possibility that it could eventually be added before the pre-agreement was cleared for Biden’s signature.
Marty Walsh, labor secretary and Pete Buttigieg, transportation secretary are set to join Senate Democrats for group lunch on Thursday, according to assistant management.
Mr Biden said that decision ask Congress intervene was “difficult call’ considering that he was one of six senators to oppose the passage of a law that ended the 1992 strike. against intervention in labor disputes. But like other top Democrats, he cited a threat of economic damage as a driving force behind his decision.
“be clear it policy of The United States encourages collective bargaining, and the administration does not want to reject union ratification procedures and opinions of those union members who voted against agreement, Mr. Biden budget office said in en official White House statement of support for check. “But in In this case, when the social and economic consequences of shutdown would hurt millions of other workers people and families—Congress should use its powers resolve this dead end.”
Some Republicans have argued that vote was direct result of administration failure act to ridicule the contrast between Mr Biden’s promise to serve as the mostunion president and his decision ask Congress intervene.
“It’s never should came to this,” spokesman Sam Graves said. of Missouri Chief Republican on Committee on transport and infrastructure at home. But he called on his colleagues to support legislation, arguing that inaction would “absolutely prejudice economy”.
The threat of shutdown of the national freight railway system, however, guaranteed some republican support for measure. Notably, however, several senior Republicans, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who strengthens up in support need to be a speaker in January – opposed the measure.
last-minute decision take a separate vote on The paid vacation proposal hurt Republicans even more. who called it “poison pill,” which would jeopardize the broader agreement.
US Chamber of Trade urged lawmakers pass measure to impose a preliminary negotiated agreement in September, calling it “a necessary resolution to prevent a catastrophic workers’ strike that shut down railway communication in America.” But he turned down the application for add seven paid days of leave it as “inoperable, one-sided modification,” Republicans echoed the criticism. on house floor.
” terms of preliminary agreement found in this resolution more than fair for railroad workers,” said Mr. Graves. He added“very sad that the majority decided to change this to last minute.”
Few Democrats voted against imposing a common agreement, with legislators like Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska chooses vote Only for addition of sick leave. For some Liberal Democrats, it was a necessary adjustment to make up for the discomfort. of vote on an agreement that several unions refused to ratify.
“I couldn’t do my job without paid sick leave—every American worker deserves the same benefit,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., Democrat. of New Jersey, noting that he must attend regular dialysis treatment for Type 2 diabetes. “Without paid sick leave, railroad workers are forced to make a choice between their health or their health. of their families and their salaries.”
Stephanie Lai made a report.