One of the country’s largest railroad unions, SMART Transportation Division, has voted to block the new wage deal brokered by the White House.
- The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has voted to ratify the agreement but said it will honor the picket line with other unions that voted against the deal.
- The two groups represent around 60,000 railroad workers, more than half the 115,000 workers covered by the current negotiations.
- This pushes the total to five unions who are back at the negotiating table. If they don’t come to a new agreement, workers would be allowed to strike as early as Dec. 4.
- Railroad workers who voted against their agreement said wages weren’t the reason for their decision.
- Their grievance is about working conditions. They say punitive attendance policies and insufficient staffing have left them overworked.
- The U.S. economy would lose $2 billion each day railroad workers are on strike, the AAR estimated. The country’s economic output averages around $63 billion each day.
Dunavant continues to monitor the situation and is positioned to offer a transloading and/or over the road trucking services if a rail strike does occur. Please contact your Dunavant representative if you have any questions regarding the rail strike or solutions to keep your loads moving.