Rail workers reject labor contract

A labor deal that began in January 2020 is still seeing developments. The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, which represents 26,000 workers who maintain railroads nationwide, have been attempting to agree on a labor contract with the freight railroads. On Oct. 10, the BMWED pushed back against, and ultimately rejected, a proposed labor contract.

This is not the first that has been rejected. Sept. 11 saw a 56% BMWED rejection of an agreement that included a wage increase of 24%, $5,000 bonuses and one additional day of PTO.

The most recent vote sheds light on the discontent of the BMWED, which may be increasing the challenge of reaching an agreement.

“The result of the vote indicates there is a lot of work to do to establish goodwill and improve the morale that has been broken by the railroads’ executives and Wall Street hedge fund managers,” BMWED President Tony D. Cardwell said in a statement. “I trust that railroad management understands that sentiment as well. Railroaders are discouraged and upset with working conditions and compensation and hold their employer in low regard.”

Following the Oct. 10 rejection, BMWED and the freight railroads will once again attempt to reach a deal that satisfies each party. If a satisfactory deal is not reached, BMWED could enact another strike after Nov. 14.