The U.S. House of Representatives will take up a bill this week that will force a solution to the union dispute for railway workers. This means that if workers’ unions cannot agree to a resolution, they cannot strike or continue to advocate for themselves because Congress will force their hands.
What do they want? Better pay, better working conditions, less rigid scheduling and paid sick time off. A tentative agreement was proposed in September but three of the 12 unions still reject it because paid sick time is not included. If the House and Senate pass a law, then the September proposal will go into effect, disallowing any further disagreement.
When asked if this move was driven by the economy and the devastation that a rail strike would bring, President Biden said: “we cannot let our strongly held conviction for better outcomes for workers deny workers the benefits of the bargain they reached, and hurl this nation into a devastating rail freight shutdown.”