Another one of the 12 railroad unions narrowly approved its deal with the major freight railroads Saturday, offering some hope that the contract dispute might be resolved without a strike even though two other unions rejected their agreements last month.
Now that 52% of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers members who voted approved their deal, seven railroad unions have ratified contracts that include 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses, but all 12 have to approve contracts to prevent a strike.
Concerns remain about the possibility of an economically devastating strike because the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division and Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen unions voted down their contracts, and many workers say these deals just don’t address their quality-of life concerns. No strike is imminent because those unions agreed to return to the bargaining table to try to work out a new deal, but those talks have been deadlocked over the unions’ demands for paid sick time and there is a Nov. 19 deadline.
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