Over 200 Republicans voted against paid sick days for railway workers – Thelocalreport.in

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The rail workers are unionized and their contracts expire on December 9, prompting speculation about a possible rail strike that could disrupt travel and paralyze supply chains.

President Joe Biden and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh helped negotiate a tentative agreement earlier this year, but four of the 12 rail unions voted againstprimarily because the proposed contract included only one unique paid sick day. On their current contract, workers have zero sick days.

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Paid sick leave is an eminently reasonable request, so the media and pundits frame the potential strike as the fault of the workers rather than the greed of the massive railroad corporations (who rewarded shareholders with billions in share buybacks this year only) is easy at best and offensive at worst.

On Monday, Biden issued a statement saying that Congress must immediately intervene and pass legislation to force the tentative contract in railway workers. Taking this step would erase the right to strike for workers, yet in the same statement, Biden called himself “a proud pro-labor president.”

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted on a bill to adopt the tentative contract, which I pass 290-137. Many Democrats were also furious over the sick leave issue, so the House also voted on Resolution 119, which would add seven days of paid sick leave to the contract. A whopping 207 Republicans voted against it. The resolution still passed with 221 votes, out of 218 Democrats and one miserable three republicans.

Both bills now go to the Senate for consideration. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also pledged to vote on an amendment to add seven paid sick days to the deal.

Congress may to extend the existing contract passed on December 9 for both parties to return to the negotiating table.

Railroad workers are only in this situation because Biden asked Congress to avoid a strike, but it really is an insult to see so many Republicans vote against their health and well-being.

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