Rail Union Rejects Contract, Reviving Strike Prospects

Oct. 11, 2022
Strike could happen as soon as Nov. 17.

The specter of a railroad strike is back, as the first major union to vote on a proposed contract resoundingly rejected it.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division voted 57% to 43% against the contract offer, in a vote that was announced Oct. 10. The BMWE is the third-largest union involved in the deal; the two larger ones are still conducting votes by mail.

A tentative deal between the unions and railroad management, brokered by the Biden administration, had been announced Sept. 12, five days ahead of a threatened strike. The contract’s rejection by the BMWE revives the possibility of a strike as early as Nov. 17.

The proposed contract offers an immediate 14% raise and a 24% raise over the five-year life of the contract. The major sticking point was work rules that required employees to be on call seven days a week.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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