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Volume XIII, Number 28

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Congress Votes to Impose Bargaining Agreement to Avoid Nationwide Railroad Strike

Both the House and Senate have passed legislation under the Railway Labor Act to avoid a railroad strike by imposing the bargaining agreement brokered by President Joe Biden in September 2022.

The House already voted in favor of the legislation. (For details of the bill, see our article, President Biden Calls on Congress to Avoid Mass Railroad Strike.) With the Senate also voting to pass the main bill, by an 80-15 vote, the threat of a strike has been averted. The legislation moves to the president for his signature. Biden has indicated he will sign the bill.

While the House voted in favor of the separate, additional piece of legislation that would have added seven paid sick leave days annually for the rail workers, the Senate did not have enough votes to pass that bill. President Biden vowed in a separate statement to seek paid leave in the future not just for rail workers, but for all workers.

What was passed by Congress in its joint resolution was short and succinct. The three-page joint resolution stated that all tentative agreements entered into by the rail carriers and the unions were considered in effect as if they had been ratified. The exact terms of each collective bargaining agreement vary by union and were not part of the bill that was passed. This is a result of the special powers given to Congress under the Railway Labor Act.

All contracts contained generous wage increases: roughly 24 percent over four to five years with one extra day of leave. However, the other detailed terms will vary across the dozen national craft unions.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 336
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About this Author

Jonathan J. Spitz, Jackson Lewis Law Firm, Labor Employment Attorney, Atlanta
Shareholder

Jonathan J. Spitz is a Principal in the Atlanta, Georgia, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is Co-Leader of the firm’s Labor and Preventive Practices Group.

Mr. Spitz lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media issues and the changing regulatory landscape. He understands the practical and operational needs of corporate America, helping design pragmatic strategies to minimize risk and maximize performance. He has represented...

404-586-1835
Richard F. Vitarelli Harford  Connecticut Labor Relations Lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Richard F. Vitarelli is a Principal in the Hartford, Connecticut, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Part of the firm’s national labor practice, he has over two decades of experience representing employers nationally in strategic labor relations, collective bargaining, and union organizing, including in the context of mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and contract administration. He serves as general labor and employment counsel for employers and multi-employer associations in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, health care and senior living,...

860-522-0404
James M Stone Labor & Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Cleveland, OH
Principal

James M. Stone is a principal of the Cleveland, Ohio, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. From the opening of the office in 2006 until early 2020, Jim served as office managing principal in Cleveland, when he stepped down to focus on his busy practice and increased task force activities within practice groups and industry teams.

With more than 25 years of experience in labor and employment law, he has conducted more than 120 negotiations with unions, represented companies in hundreds of employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and other claims in court and...

216-750-4307
James Verdi employment litigation lawyer Jackson Lewis
Associate

James Verdi is an Associate in the Cleveland, Ohio office of Jackson Lewis P.C. James focuses his practice on representing employers in employment litigation and labor relations matters including collective bargaining, unfair labor practice charges, unlawful discrimination, accommodation, and leave issues.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Verdi worked for the United States Postal Service, the nation’s second largest employer, where he first-chaired more than 20 administrative employment hearings and national arbitrations. He provided advice on various...

216-750-0404
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