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House of Representatives passes legislation to avoid railroad strike

House of Representatives passes legislation to avoid railroad strike

House of Representatives passes legislation to avoid railroad strike

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to avoid a railroad strike; national railroad workers had vowed to strike on Dec. 9 if no agreement was reached. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 290-137, and still needs to be approved by the Senate.  If enacted the measure would require companies and railway employees to adhere to a tentative agreement that was brokered earlier this year by the Biden administration.

President Joe Biden issued a personal appeal for Congress earlier in the week, saying in an official White House press release: “I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators — without any modifications or delay — to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.” 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had expressed his intention to hold up the legislation unless a measure was added to guarantee seven days of paid sick leave to railroad employees, tweeting: “At a time of record profits in the rail industry, it’s unacceptable that rail workers have zero guaranteed paid sick days. It’s my intention to block consideration of the rail legislation until a roll call vote occurs on guaranteeing seven paid sick days to rail workers in America.” A separate piece of legislation, mandating paid sick leave for railroad workers, passed the House by 221-207.

The National Railway Act allows congress to intervene in labor disputes related to national railroads but the law has not been invoked since the 19

Editorial credit: Albert Pego / Shutterstock.com

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