Headline RoundupNovember 22nd, 2022

Fears Grow of Holiday Rail Strike as Unions Negotiate Bargaining Agreement

AllSides Summary

The country’s largest railroad unions failed to accept a proposed agreement with rail carriers on Monday after SMART-TD’s workers narrowly voted to reject the proposal. Without an agreement, rail workers could go on strike — just in time for the holidays.

Key Quotes: SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson said “the ball is now in the railroads’ court,” following the vote, citing “a lot” of unresolved issues that prompted his workers to oppose the deal. The president of BLET, which voted for the deal, said the union would stand “shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in SMART-TD” as negotiations continued. Without a deal, Association of American Railroads President Ian Jefferies said, “Congress should be prepared to act and avoid a disastrous $2 billion a day hit to our economy.”

For Context: This isn’t the first time rail workers have come close to striking this year, and negotiations have been ongoing. The unions only narrowly failed to come to an agreement; according to Vice (Left bias), 53.5% of BLET workers voted to ratify the deal, as did 62.5% of SMART-TD’s yardmasters. However, about 51% of SMART-TD’s train operators voted against the deal.

How the Media Covered It: Most coverage highlighted the “looming” possibility of a strike. Coverage from the right was more likely to call the possibility a “threat.” Vice, which often focuses on labor issues, broke with most other outlets by downplaying the possibility of a strike and calling rail carriers’ workplace policies “draconian.” 

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

More News about Economy and Jobs from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right