Speed Reads

a little more revision

Buttigieg: Rejected rail union deal is just the 'natural process of back-and-forth'

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asserted his confidence in finalizing a deal between railroad unions and freight rail companies on Tuesday in a town hall at Georgetown University, per the newsletter Wake Up To Politics. This statement followed news that one of the largest unions in the negotiations rejected the deal on Monday, reigniting fears of a railroad strike.

Buttigieg called the rejection part of "a very natural process of back-and-forth" and predicted that the agreement would be finalized after "a little more revision," reports Wake Up To Politics. 

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) announced they were rejecting the offer that the Biden Administration helped broker in September. The rejection came weeks after the Biden administration celebrated averting a railroad strike that could have devastated the U.S. supply chain and disrupted passenger service by brokering the tentative deal between the 12 unions and the companies, The Washington Post reports. 

In a statement, BMWED president Tony Cardwell said, "Railroaders do not feel valued. They resent the fact that management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their stubborn reluctance to provide a higher quantity of paid time off, especially for sickness."

The 12 unions involved in the negotiations represent around 115,000 workers. Four unions have ratified the agreement, and seven more are set to cast their votes over the next few weeks, reports Axios

Negotiations will continue until at least Nov. 19, and railroads are expected to continue operating until then, per the Post.