Rail Strike Is A Promise, Not A Threat

President Joe Biden is in hot water with some of his strongest White House allies and congressional leaders amid a devastating rail strike before the holidays. Multiple rail unions have rejected railroad negotiations, and Biden is using century-old legislation to block the strike. Biden made a statement Tuesday that “as a proud pro-labor president,” he is reluctant to override ratification procedures. Still, the economic impact of a shutdown is too risky for American families.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Congress would use its powers to adopt the deal and keep the rails running. The legislation will be presented Wednesday morning on the House floor before going to the Senate. Biden called railway workers to accept the labor contract delivered in September, but workers have refused due to complaints about pay, insurance, and time off. The president and Congress are working to pass legislation forcing laborers to adopt the deal.

Despite the undesirable fine print in the deal, the president and cabinet members did not see this coming. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and National Economic Director Brian Deese held celebrations when the initial agreement was reached in September. Walsh said he and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spent more than 20 hours negotiating with the unions.

Multiple unions plan a new strike on December 9 after rejecting the deal. Usually, Biden and the Democrats have strong allies in organized labor, so this is terrible news for the White House. Other liberal members of Congress are supporting the workers, not Biden. Labor organizations contributed more than $27 million to Biden’s White House campaign in 2020, so this can’t be good news for a re-election campaign either.

The president’s popularity was declining as his administration’s mistakes were causing enormous problems for the American people. With warnings of further economic devastation, maybe citizens will start to wake up to see the real issue. The four unions who rejected the deal are calling out the betrayal from the White House.

In a press release, Railroad Workers United said, “Joe Biden blew it. He had the opportunity to prove his labor-friendly pedigree to millions of workers by simply asking Congress for legislation to end the threat of a national strike on terms more favorable to workers. Sadly, he could not bring himself to advocate for a lousy handful of sick days. The Democrats and Republicans are both pawns of big business and the corporations.”