Sanders backs House bill to avert rail strike

Sen. Sanders commented on the addition to the rail strike vote which would include seven sick days to the union agreement.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 5:55 AM EST
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said he supports a measure pending before the Senate to avert a nationwide rail strike.

The U.S. House moved urgently to head off the looming nationwide rail strike on Wednesday, passing a bill that would bind companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached in September but rejected by some of the 12 unions involved. The measure passed by a vote of 290-137 and now heads to the Senate. If approved there, it will be signed by President Joe Biden, who urged the Senate to act swiftly.

“Let me congratulate the 221 Members in the House for taking on the greed of the rail industry and voting to guarantee seven paid sick days to every rail union worker in America. It is absolutely unacceptable that rail workers have ZERO paid sick days. The Senate must do the same,” Sanders said on Twitter.

Sanders had opposed earlier versions of the measure that did not guarantee paid sick days to rail workers.

If Congress acts, it will end the negotiations between four rail unions that rejected their deals and the railroads.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott Wednesday also pushed Congress to take action to avert a strike that he said could prove devastating to the economy.

“A rail shutdown would severely disrupt the flow of essential resources throughout America, including heating fuels, salt for winter ice control, and many other supplies critical to the health and safety of Vermonters and all Americans. I fully support President Biden’s request that Congress put in place the Tentative Agreement, which was agreed to earlier this year by workers and operators. Americans cannot withstand further supply disruptions, or cost increases, and I strongly encourage Congress to move quickly and send a bill to the President’s desk,” Scott said in a statement.

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