“This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the tentative agreement – with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms – and send it to the Senate,” Pelosi mentioned in a press release. “It is my hope that this necessary, strike-averting legislation will earn a strongly bipartisan vote, giving America’s families confidence in our commitment to protecting their financial futures.”
Freight rail firms urged Congress to behave shortly.
“No one benefits from a rail work stoppage – not our customers, not rail employees and not the American economy,” mentioned Association of American Railroads CEO Ian Jefferies. “Now is the appropriate time for Congress to pass legislation to implement the agreements already ratified by eight of the twelve unions.”
The September settlement, although, doesn’t embrace sick go away, a key subject for freight-rail staff, who’ve sought to ensure medical time without work and different advantages.
Tony Cardwell, president of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, mentioned he would oppose any laws that doesn’t embrace paid sick days. BMWED was certainly one of 4 unions that voted down the proposed settlement, and Cardwell mentioned he would stand by his members.
“When Biden makes the claim that he’s pro-union — and I believe that to be true — and Democrats campaign on it, they better deliver,” Cardwell mentioned. “If we’re not going to get it, then they shouldn’t intervene.”
The risk of congressional intervention already robbed unions of leverage, Cardwell mentioned. Freight-rail carriers final week turned down the union’s newest supply of 4 paid sick days — down from the preliminary request of 15 — figuring out Congress would step in, he mentioned.
Cardwell mentioned he had been on the telephone all day attempting to shore up help for paid sick days within the forthcoming laws.
“My move is to fight like hell,” Cardwell mentioned.
Pelosi in her assertion praised the September deal for “including a 24 percent raise, no changes in copays, deductibles or coinsurance costs, some time off for routine, preventative and emergency medical care,” however mentioned Democrats would proceed to “fight for more of railroad workers’ priorities, including paid sick leave.”
The White House signaled earlier Monday it will not let a shutdown of freight rail strains cripple the financial system, with a spokeswoman noting that Congress has repeatedly intervened up to now to forestall work stoppages.
“The president is directly involved in the process and has been engaged with his team and also has had conversations with members of Congress on this particular issue, in case resolving the issue falls to them as it has 18 times in the last 60 years,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned.
Congressional motion to cease a strike isn’t a foregone conclusion. Legislation may run into objections from progressive Democrats as a result of unions, a strong Democratic constituency, oppose it. Senate procedures are extra difficult, so getting a invoice handed by the deadline would most likely require all 100 members to agree on holding a fast vote.
Senator Bernie Sanders, an unbiased from Vermont, mentioned he would help a rail strike invoice if it ensures sick go away advantages.
“Our fight has got to be that workers in that industry are treated like human beings and get guaranteed sick leave,” Sanders mentioned. “That’s what I’m going to fight for.”
The Senate Commerce Committee’s high Republican, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, mentioned Congress should cross laws to avert the strike.
“The president says he is going to ask Congress to act and I would expect Congress to support that request,” he mentioned earlier Monday, predicting that lawmakers would act earlier than the Dec. 9 deadline.
However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, mentioned a invoice on the rail strike has been mentioned however that it will be a “challenge” to get it completed by the deadline.