Large rail union rejects deal, renewing strike possibility

Oct 13, 2022
Written by WR Communications

This past week, the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) became the fourth union to ratify the tentative agreement with the freight railroads. To date, ATDA along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Transportation Communications Union/IAM (TCU/IAM) and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) have all ratified the agreement.

Yesterday, however, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), one of the remaining unions yet to vote on ratification, voted to turn down the agreement.

Over half of track maintenance workers represented by BMWED voted to oppose the five-year contract despite 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. According to AP News, Union President Tony Cardwell said the railroads didn’t do enough to address the lack of paid time off — particularly sick time — and working conditions after the major railroads eliminated nearly one-third of their jobs over the past six years.

The remaining ratification votes should be concluded by mid-November. Per, the remaining unions yet to vote include:

  • National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (NCFO) – October 13
  • SMART-M – October 14
  • Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) – October 26
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers, and Helpers (IBB) – November 11
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) – November 17
  • International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD) – November 17
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) – no later than November 20


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