SMART-TD statement on congressional intervention in the national rail negotiations

November 30, 2022

The SMART Transportation Division does not support the notion of Congress intervening in our collective bargaining negotiations to prevent a strike. We firmly believe in the workers’ right to fight for their own best interests, as well as the best interests of their families. Unfortunately, threats to the economy have caused this Congress to believe that a strike aversion is the best course for this nation.

We implore them to not allow political pursuits or efforts to result in a scenario where we are forced to accept less than what is currently on the table, which includes the enforcement of the limited PEB recommendations and/or an extension of the cooling-off period.

Our members want and need sick leave, but even more so, they need relief from the damning effects of operational changes made by the railroads over the last five years. If Congress truly wants to take action to improve the industry for our members, then we recommend legislation that will work to reverse the devastation of Precision Scheduled Railroading.

As for this moment, we ask these elected leaders to stand with our essential workers and urge the House and the Senate to vote in favor of guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave to rail workers.

Action today is a start, but the fight for rail workers continues.