President Biden signs bill to avert rail strike
Biden signed a bill Friday that binds freight rail workers to their jobs and averts a strike that could’ve shut down transportation infrastructure in the United States. The bill imposes a labor settlement agreed to in September by railroads and union leaders that provides better pay and bonuses to railway workers. Workers at eight out of twelve labor unions had approved the settlement, while those at four other unions rejected the settlement because it didn’t include paid sick leave.
How did this bill come about? Biden had asked Congress on Monday to intervene to avert a Dec. 9 rail strike. The House passed the bill 290-137 on Wednesday, and the Senate passed the bill 80-15 on Thursday. The Senate took a total of three votes on the issue. One bill that failed would have sent both parties back to the negotiating table, and the other, which failed in the Senate but had been approved in the House, would have added seven days of unpaid sick leave to the tentative agreement.
Dig deeper: Read Carolina Lumetta’s report in The Stew about Congress’s agenda for the rest of the year.
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