Biden hails railroad deal as ‘important win’

Rail unions move to finalize a plan to avoid delayed services.

Dalet Valles, News Editor

Just a day after the nation received news of delayed rail services due to anticipated strikes, President Joe Biden announced the deal that eased tensions. The negotiations took place in a 20-hour consecutive timeframe. 

Rail workers were planning to go on strike on Sept. 16 after failing to reach a deal on schedules, pay and working conditions. It was expected that services would be delayed while the strike was in process. According to AP News, President Biden urged both sides to negotiate a deal to avoid the impact of the strike. 

“The tentative agreement reached tonight is an important win for our economy and the American people,” said President Biden in a statement published by the White House. “It is a win for tens of thousands of rail workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that America’s families and communities got deliveries of what have kept us going during these difficult years.” 

WORKERS RECEIVE BONUSES

The negotiations proposed a five-year plan that would date back to 2020, ending in 2025. Workers will receive around $5,000 in bonuses and 24 percent raises, the biggest pay increase in around 40 years. According to AP News, workers will get a “back pay of more than $11,000 on average.”

Improved working conditions were also part of the deal, easing policies on attendance and time off for workers. On previous occasions, workers would be penalized. Rail workers will now have an additional day of paid time off. 

“These rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs: all hard-earned,” Biden said. 

TWO UNIONS ACCEPT DEAL

The twelve unions will vote to accept or reject the deal. One of the twelve unions rejected the strike, while two accepted a deal with similar benefits. The other nine unions have yet to make a statement. 

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