Joe Biden Defends Decision To Impose Rail Deal Without Sick Leave To Avoid Strike

  • In Politics
  • 2022-12-02 18:09:15Z
  • By HuffPost

President Joe Biden signed a bill Friday imposing union contracts on rail workers in order to avoid a work stoppage that could have hit the rail system early this month.

Biden defended his decision to have Congress override negotiations between unions and the rail carriers before workers could strike for a better deal. Many rail workers had hoped to secure paid sick leave in the final agreement, but Congress voted to impose the deal without it at Biden's urging.

"I know this was a tough vote for members of both parties," Biden told reporters at the White House. "It was a tough vote for me, but it was the right thing to do at the moment."

Biden said that allowing a work stoppage to happen "without a doubt would have been an economic catastrophe," shutting down industries, raising prices and jeopardizing clean drinking water.

Four out of twelve unions representing rail workers rejected a tentative agreement reached with the nation's major carriers, including CSX, BNSF and Union Pacific. Paid leave was one of the main sticking points, since rail workers do not get dedicated sick days.

With a strike deadline of Dec. 9, Biden asked congressional leaders to impose the tentative agreement before a work stoppage could hurt the economy.

Many Democrats pushed to add paid leave to the deal through legislation, and the House passed a measure attaching a week of paid leave.

But the votes were structured in a way that ultimately allowed the Senate to impose the deal without the paid leave provision. All Democrats, save for Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and a handful of Republicans voted in favor of adding sick days, but it was not enough to reach 60 votes and surmount a filibuster.

Paid leave has been a policy priority for Democrats for years. Biden acknowledged the vote may have disappointed his supporters, but said the fight for sick leave wasn't finished.

"Look, I know this bill doesn't have paid sick leave that these rail workers and frankly every worker in America deserves," Biden said. "But that fight isn't over. ... I supported paid sick leave for a long time and I'm going to continue that fight until we succeed."


More Related News

MSNBC Gleefully Mocks Kevin McCarthy
MSNBC Gleefully Mocks Kevin McCarthy's 'Weakness' at SOTU

MSNBCImmediately after President Joe Biden wrapped up his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, MSNBC's post-speech analysis largely focused on...

Romney excoriates Santos, saying he
Romney excoriates Santos, saying he's a 'sick puppy' who should have been 'sitting in the back row' during Biden's address

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, chided Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., Tuesday night ahead of President Joe Biden's address in what appeared to be a tense exchange on ...

Ex-Twitter execs to testify in Congress on handling of Hunter Biden laptop reporting
Ex-Twitter execs to testify in Congress on handling of Hunter Biden laptop reporting

Company temporarily restricted New York Post article in 2020 about contents of the abandoned computer of Joe Biden's son

Key takeaways: Biden boasts about his wins and lays out populist 2024 themes
Key takeaways: Biden boasts about his wins and lays out populist 2024 themes

In his State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden boasted about his first two years and tested populist re-election themes for the 2024 campaign.

Heckles, spats and moving moments: Here
Heckles, spats and moving moments: Here's what you missed from Biden's State of the Union speech

In one moving moment, Biden acknowledged the parents of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics