Joe Biden signs law to block rail strike

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Joe Biden enacts legislation to block rail strike

Thousands of railroad workers threaten strike on December 9.

A strike would shut down 7,000 trains in the United States and could cost the country's economy two billion dollars a day, according to Washington.

President Joe Biden has signed into law Friday a law aimed at preventing a potentially catastrophic railroad strike for the American economy, according to him.

The Senate adopted Thursday, by a large majority of 80 votes against 15, a text which imposes on railway workers an agreement reached in September between the railway companies and 12 unions representing 115,000 employees, who threatened to call a strike on December 9. /p>

The upper house of Congress, on the other hand, did not approve a measure consisting in paying them several days of sick leave per year, which is demanded by the 4 out of 12 unions which have refused to ratify the agreement.

It was tough for me, but it was the right thing to do right now – save jobs, protect millions of working families from disruption, and keep supply chains going through the pandemic. holidays, said the head of the White House, who works to maintain good relations with the unions.

A strike by railroad workers would have been an economic disaster , he added to justify his decision. The walkout would have frozen nearly 30% of US freight transportation and cost the US economy nearly $2 billion a day, according to industry companies.

The US Congress has intervened in this labor dispute, as it has the power to block a strike when it involves the transportation industry.

US Railroads – Union Pacific, BNSF (Berkshire Hathaway Inc), CSX or Norfolk Southern Corp among others – have sharply reduced the cost of labor in recent years in order to improve their profits and oppose the payment of work stoppages for health reasons which would force them to recruit more employees.

Railway companies are making record profits. Employees have no paid sick leave. Is this OK? Paying sick leave is a basic human right, Teamsters Union President Sean O'Brien tweeted after the Senate vote.

L' agreement which is binding on railway workers provides for a salary increase of 24% over five years and five exceptional bonuses of $ 1,000 per year.

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