My dad’s old union is included in this, and he would have been appalled:
Despite the four largest railroad companies making $8.5 billion in profits last year, an association of 30 railroads is asking 92,000 railroad workers represented by 11 unions to make concessions that could result in the first railroad strike in nearly 20 years.
Last month, Obama stepped in to prevent the strike of tens of thousands of railroad workers under powers granted to the president under the Railway Labor Act (which governs labor relations in the railway and airline industry) after the 35,000 member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) voted to go strike. It was the first time a president stepped in to avoid a private-sector strike since President George W. Bush prevented a strike at Amtrak in 2007.
Obama formed a Presidential Emergency Board comprised of five members to issue recommendations on what type of contract the two sides should agree to. Yesterday, the Board offered its recommendations, and they were slightly better (from workers’ perspective) than a concessionary contract agreed to by one of the unions, United Transport Unions. But they still endorse concessions, including shifting healthcare costs to workers, which unions say are unacceptable.
The Board called for a wage increase greater than what was previously agreed to in the UTU contract. It also recommended a lump-sum signing bonus for all employees covered by the agreement, while the UTU agreement only called for a lump sum signing bonus for a few employees. However, the presidential board did recommend that the union accept the company’s call for workers to pay an average $200 more a month out of pocket for healthcare than they were previously paying, but called for the new health care agreement to be implemented over an 18-month period rather than to be implemented immediately, as the company wants.
Union officials are upset.
Gee, I wonder why? Death by slowing boiling water isn’t more acceptable?