The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters opposed the agreement because management was unwilling to provide paid time off to employees to cover family emergencies or sickness.
“Railroaders are discouraged and upset with working conditions and compensation and hold their employer in low regard. Railroaders do not feel valued,” Union President Tony D. Cardwell said in an interview.
“Railroaders do not feel valued. They resent the fact that management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their stubborn reluctance to provide a higher quantity of paid time off, especially for sickness.”
Cardwell stated that the union will continue to negotiate with the railroad companies until 5 days following Congress’s return on November 14.
The month before, Biden brokered a tentative agreement between the unions as well as railroads, boasting of his ability to negotiate.
“Today is a win — and I mean it sincerely — a win for America,” the president declared with a smile on September 15 during an address in the Rose Garden.
“This agreement is validation — validation of what I’ve always believed: Unions and management can work together for the benefit of everyone,” said the president.
The union’s refusal of the agreement sets Biden back and once more is a possibility for the possibility of a nationwide rail shutdown, which could cripple the economy just in the midst of the Christmas and Thanksgiving holiday season.