The President announced this morning that negotiators have reached a tentative deal between the railroads and their engineers and conductors, averting tonight's planned strike:
Freight rail companies and unions representing tens of thousands of workers reached a tentative agreement to avoid what would have been an economically damaging strike, after all-night talks brokered by Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, President Biden said early Thursday morning.
The agreement now heads to union members for a ratification vote, which is a standard procedure in labor talks. While the vote is tallied, workers have agreed not to strike.
The talks brokered by Mr. Walsh began Wednesday morning and lasted 20 hours. Mr. Biden called in around 9 p.m. Wednesday, a person familiar with the talks said, and he hailed the deal on Thursday in a long statement.
“Most importantly, for the first time ever, the agreement provides our members with the ability to take time away from work to attend routine and preventative medical, as well as exemptions from attendance policies for hospitalizations and surgical procedures,” the presidents of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers said in a news release.
Excellent news for the unions! And for us travelers, and for us consumers. Whew.