On December 3, 2022, President Biden signed a bill to block the pending railway strike and force workers to accept the agreements which did not include the desired amount of paid sick leave, offering only one day of leave over the seven days rail unions were advocating for.
Congress and President Biden unequivocally sided with management and rail executives who over the last three years have been paid over $200 million and have eliminated over one-third of the jobs in the industry, demanding more from railway workers who remain.
Railway workers commonly work 80+ hour weeks and are away from home for 120+ hours due to travel. Freight rail operators often work 12+ hour shifts a day alone with no sick time or leave for medical issues or family emergencies. During tense negotiations this year, the big rail companies refused to concede to the demand for paid sick leave because they knew Congress would intervene should a railway worker strike take place.
Despite being touted as a pro-worker president that supports paid sick leave, President Biden used his executive authority to settle a dispute forcing railway workers to work through severe illness and family emergencies. Now, we’re calling on him to use that authority to undo the massive injustice this decision has caused for the labor movement and railway workers because no American industry should exist on abuse and exploitation.
In 2015, President Obama signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to offer at least seven days of paid leave, but the order excluded railway workers. President Biden has the authority to extend paid sick leave to railway workers.
Railway workers keep our supply chain and economy intact, and they are fighting to ensure it exists a decade from now as money-hungry corporate executives intentionally work to destroy it for profit. Show your solidarity with railway workers by telling President Biden to extend paid leave to railway workers!