Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Today the US Senate held three votes regarding the dispute between the railroads and the rail unions regarding our bargaining agreements.
After Senator Chuck Schumer opened consideration in Senate regarding legislation to end the rail dispute, the following votes were taken:
A PROPOSED AMENDMENT: Senators Dan Sullivan and Tom Cotton proposed an Amendment to H.J. Res. 100 that would implement a new, 60-day cooling off period for rail bargaining. This proposed Amendment failed, with 24 YES votes and 69 NO votes.
H. Con. Res. 119: This proposal would have mandated 7 days of paid sick leave for rail workers to be part of any resolution to the bargaining dispute. This proposal FAILED under the rules of the US Senate, which required this measure to have 60 or more YES votes to overcome a potential filibuster. The final votes for H. Con. Res. 119 were 52 YES, 43 NO.
H.J. Res. 100: This legislation averts a potential rail strike by implementing the tentative agreements made between the parties, even if those agreements were rejected earlier by the members. Upon passage of this legislation, the terms of the National Bargaining Tentative Agreement, side letters, and local agreements will be made effective as though they had been passed. This measure PASSED the US Senate with 80 YES votes and 15 NO votes (with 1 Senator voting PRESENT). This measure, having earlier PASSED the House of Representatives, will go before the President for his signature and become law.
As a result of the Senate votes today and upon the President’s signature enacting H.J. Res. 100, the bargaining round that began in 2020 will end. The terms and conditions of the Tentative Agreements rejected earlier this year will be imposed as the next contract between BMWED and those railroads governed under National Bargaining. The local agreements and side letters negotiated separately will also take effect.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the votes today or the path ahead, please reach out to me, your System officers, or your System staff. You can also find information from throughout this bargaining round at https://www.bmwedburlington.org/NationalBargaining.
I recognize and understand that this has been a difficult bargaining round, that many of us are not content with its outcome, and that we have much work still to do in building ourselves up as a Union. I will not try to tell any of you how to feel, but I will ask that you all treat one another with respect.
I thank you all for the hard work you do each day, for all your efforts put in organizing, communicating, and coming together in solidarity, and for demonstrating that the members of the Burlington System Division are, as always, Ready to Work and Ready to Act.