- Fears of a disruptive rail strike are roaring back to life, less than a month after President Joe Biden took a highly visible victory lap for averting a pre-election economic meltdown.
- The strike threat is yet another burden for an economy weighed down by inflation and fears of a recession. It’s also a sign that the Sept. 15 deal, which Biden praised in a Rose Garden celebration as “a win for tens of thousands of rail workers,” has not cooled some employees’ anger over what they say are onerous, punishing and even inhumane working conditions.
“It’s not a good thing when one union fails to ratify a contract that’s part of a larger pattern and calls out an issue that is a very big issue for two other unions that have not yet ratified,” former Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris said. He added that leaders of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen — two of the unions that were last to reach tentative agreements — “will have some more explaining to do.”
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