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CSX and 2 unions come to a final agreement

CSX The freight train operator CSX Transportation and two railroad unions were able to come to terms on paid sick leave on Tuesday.

In the end, the company opted to provide 5,000 CSX union members with paid sick days.

The names of the two unions are as follows:

  • The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), which represents engineers
  • The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), which represents mechanical workers.

The news

Joe Hinrichs, president and chief executive officer of CSX, made the announcement and said the following:

“CSX is committed to listening to our railroaders and working with their representatives to find solutions that improve the quality of life and experience as employees.”

“These agreements demonstrate that commitment and are a direct result of the collaborative relationship we are working to cultivate with all of the unions that represent CSX employees.”

The agreement

An agreement between the two unions, the business, and the employees provides for four fully paid sick days per year.

The members’ right to three days of personal leave for sick days was also stressed by the two unions.

Don Grissom, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, continues by commenting on the agreement:

“We are extremely proud that BRC is one of the very first unions to reach this type of an agreement.”

“This agreement is a significant accomplishment and provides a very important benefit for our members working at CSXT.”

“The other carriers should take note and come to the bargaining table in a similar manner.”

The deal opens the opportunity for employees to pay themselves out of their 401(k) or contribute any unused sick time to it, claims the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Path Employees Division.

The concept was also discussed with BMWED president Tony D. Cardwell.

“The other Class I railroads just reported extremely healthy earnings for 2022, many of which were record setting, and the Workers are the people responsible for those profits,” said Cardwell.

“Other than absolute greed, there is no reason why the other Class I railroads cannot enter into an identical paid sick leave Agreement with BMWED, or any other Rail Union for that matter, especially in light of what CSX and the BMWED have done today.”

2022 contract negotiation

Last year, paid sick leave was a contentious issue during contract negotiations between twelve unions and US freight railways.

In reaction to the contentious debate, tens of thousands of railroad employees nearly went on strike.

Last year, the Biden administration got involved and started negotiating to convince eight unions to support the idea.

At the time, it was condemned by four unions.

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The railways and the unions returned to the bargaining table when the prospect of a strike emerged.

The unions’ original 10-day sick leave proposal was ultimately cut to four.

The unions’ offer is said to have been rejected by the railroad firms.

Following the rejection, Congress was forced to intervene in order to convince the four unions to accept the accord.

As a result, it averted a catastrophic economic crisis, but it also dashed workers’ hopes for paid sick leave.

A new frontier

A new era for American freight train operators has begun with the signing of the CSX deal with BMWED and BRC.

The company asserts that it will continue to analyze the contracts with the other 10 unions.

There are now just three important freight lines without a sick leave policy:

  • BNSF
  • Norfolk Southern
  • Union Pacific

Last week, a Norfolk Southern train derailed close to East Palestine, Ohio, causing a terrible catastrophe in Norfolk.

The railroads were moving 20 wagons of vinyl chloride, a potentially hazardous material.

As firefighters battled to put out the fire and limit the potential leak, locals were forced to abandon their homes as a result of the incident.

Almost all of the cars with chemical leaks had been removed from the area by Tuesday of this week.

There is currently just one car left in the vicinity.

The conductor and engineer of the train were relatively unharmed.

Image source: The New York Times

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