• 1440 Daily Digest

Rail Unions Reject Deal

The largest railroad worker union in the US announced yesterday its members had rejected the latest collective bargaining agreement brokered by the Biden administration in September. The news prompted renewed concern over a possible general strike ahead of an early December deadline.

Negotiations between management and 12 rail worker unions—each of which must approve the contract—have failed to produce an agreement since 2019 (see timeline). While eight unions voted for the latest agreement, four opposed it over work-life concerns, including limited sick leave provisions amid a dwindling workforce. The current agreement would see compensation jump nearly 25% retroactive to 2020, one of the largest increases in rail worker history. Read the contract details here.

Estimates suggest a general strike would cost the country roughly $2B a day and likely compound historically high inflation. Observers predict Congress may intervene if a deal isn't struck in the next two weeks.

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