The two remaining unions representing US Class 1 Freight Railroad workers have completed their voting on the tentative labor agreement. The results were split, increasing the possibility of a rail strike that could start in early December.
Members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) have rejected the labor agreement that was worked out between the railroads and the leadership of 12 different rail workers unions. The IBB represents about 300 rail employees.
FreightWaves is reporting that the Brotherhood of Maintenance Way–Employee Division will not go on strike after November 19th, opting instead to hold off any potential work stoppage action until early December.
On Saturday, members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 19 narrowly approved the ratification of a labor agreement with US Class 1 railroads. According to the IAM, 52% of its membership voted in favor of accepting the agreement.
The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen became the second US Class 1 freight railroad union to reject the tentative agreement, which representatives of the unions and the freight railroads had recently negotiated. Nearly 61% of the approximately 6,000 members voted against the agreement.
The third-largest freight railway workers union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) of the Teamsters union, reported on Monday that 56% of its more than 11,000 workers had voted against accepting the US Class 1 freight railroads’ tentative agreement offer.
The railroads and labor organizations have reached a tentative agreement, and rank-and-file members of the various labor organizations have or are in the process of ratifying the new agreement. To date, four labor organizations have ratified their agreements, while eight are still pending.
The Fort Nelson First Nation and local politicians have been trying to pull themselves out of a 15-year regional recession by revitalizing the region’s forest industry, which was shut down in 2008 when Canfor Corp closed its plywood and OSB mills. Those closures were proceeded by the shuttering of the Tackama sawmill in 2005.
A 20-hour marathon bargaining session, hosted by U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, between the unions representing 115,000 workers and the US Class 1 freight railroads has yielded a tentative agreement which has averted, at least for now, a nationwide Class 1 railroad lockout or strike.
The latest tentative agreement, two ratifications, and one rejection means that 9 out of the 12 labor unions have either reached tentative agreement and are either waiting for, or already have, membership ratification.