(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters applauds the tens of thousands of members of the Teamsters Rail Conference for working long into the night to reach a tentative agreement averting a potential railway strike.
The Teamsters Rail Conference includes the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED).
“Collective bargaining works. The labor movement works. And we know through lifetimes of experience and unbelievable sacrifice, Teamsters across America’s railroads work harder than anyone,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The Teamsters thank all of our members and negotiating partners for staying at the table until this job was done. We’re not yet to the end of the line, but the process is working.”
Throughout negotiations, O’Brien worked closely with President Joe Biden and U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to ensure hardworking Teamsters were heard and respected and that every effort was made to reach an agreement that kept Teamsters working and America’s rails running. Teamster representatives across the country remained in close contact with members to share developments from the bargaining table and hold the line on worker solidarity.
The tentative agreement will improve working conditions and safeguard wages and health care benefits for the 57,000 members of the Teamsters Rail Conference. In addition to wage increases and bonuses, new contract language was negotiated exempting time off for certain medical events. The agreement includes provisions to create voluntary assigned days off for members, and all members will receive one additional paid day off. Most importantly, Teamsters will have the ability to take time away from work for routine and preventive medical care, as well as exemptions from attendance policies for hospitalizations and surgery.
“Negotiations never follow a straight line but the fight for a union contract is always worth it,” O’Brien said. “The Teamsters are proud to represent the hardest working people in America, and our members’ families know the dedication and grit they bring to their crafts and careers. The unity, perseverance, and patience of union workers is to be admired. Our members never fall short of doing the right thing for their Teamster brothers and sisters and for their country.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit Teamster.org to join us. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and like us at Facebook.com/teamsters.