Biden Defends Decision To Impose Rail Deal Without Sick Leave To Avoid Strike

President Joe Biden signed a invoice Friday imposing union contracts on rail staff with the intention to keep away from a piece stoppage that would have hit the rail system early this month.

Biden defended his choice to have Congress override negotiations between unions and the rail carriers earlier than staff might strike for a greater deal. Many rail staff had hoped to safe paid sick depart within the closing settlement, however Congress voted to impose the deal with out it at Biden’s urging.

“I know this was a tough vote for members of both parties,” Biden informed reporters on the White House. “It was a tough vote for me, but it was the right thing to do at the moment.”

Biden mentioned that permitting a piece stoppage to occur “without a doubt would have been an economic catastrophe,” shutting down industries, elevating costs and jeopardizing clear consuming water.

Four out of twelve unions representing rail staff rejected a tentative settlement reached with the nation’s main carriers, together with CSX, BNSF and Union Pacific. Paid depart was one of many essential sticking factors, since rail staff don’t get devoted sick days.

“It was a tough vote for me, but it was the right thing to do at the moment.”

– President Joe Biden

With a strike deadline of Dec. 9, Biden requested congressional leaders to impose the tentative settlement earlier than a piece stoppage might damage the economic system.

Many Democrats pushed so as to add paid depart to the deal via laws, and the House handed a measure attaching every week of paid depart.

But the votes have been structured in a means that in the end allowed the Senate to impose the deal with out the paid depart provision. All Democrats, save for Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), and a handful of Republicans voted in favor of including sick days, nevertheless it was not sufficient to reach 60 votes and surmount a filibuster.

Paid depart has been a coverage precedence for Democrats for years. Biden acknowledged the vote might have dissatisfied his supporters, however mentioned the struggle for sick depart wasn’t completed.

“Look, I know this bill doesn’t have paid sick leave that these rail workers and frankly every worker in America deserves,” Biden mentioned. “But that fight isn’t over. … I supported paid sick leave for a long time and I’m going to continue that fight until we succeed.”