US Railroad Union Strike Possible as Early as November 19th

On Saturday (11-4-22), 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. However, the union noted that only 59% of its total 4,900 eligible members voted. The IAM membership serve as locomotive machinists, roadway mechanists, and facility maintenance personnel for the railroads.

The National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC), the group representing the freight railroads, said it was pleased with IAM’s voting results.

Thus far, seven of the twelve unions involved in the negotiations have ratified the agreement. Another three still need to vote on whether to ratify the agreements, according to the NCCC. Two of the three are the largest unions representing train conductors and engineers, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers–Transportation Division (SMART-TD).

Two other unions, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, recently voted to reject the tentative agreement, and both unions have returned to the bargaining table with the railroads.

BMWED could initiate a work stoppage as early as November 19, but that would be before BLET and SMART-TD would have completed voting on their tentative agreements, the NCCC said.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.