Railroad Labor Dispute Update

Posted on Oct 27

Another Railroad Union Votes Down Labor Deal

Posted by: Rick Walker, Vice President, TradeInsights, LCB, CCS


Yesterday, according to CNBC and other sources, another railroad union has voted down the tentative agreement coordinated between the unions, the railroad companies, and the Biden administration. More than 60% of The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) union members voted not to ratify the agreement, making them the second rail workers union to reject the terms of the deal. The BRS, which represents over 10,000 rail workers and is one of the last three unions at the bargaining table, overwhelmingly rejected the deal, with 39.23% of members approving and 60.57% voting not to approve. The BRS vote against ratification follows the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED) which voted not to ratify the tentative deal on October 10. Logistics managers told CNBC they have been planning again for a possible strike after the September deal seemed to reduce the threat. A potential strike could happen as early as November 19.

However, there is a positive note from Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz, who, in response to the BMWED vote, told CBNC “We’ve got some negotiating to do with that union and we’ve agreed to status quo, we’re in status quo while we’re doing that. I am confident we will find a way to craft an agreement that can be taken back out for ratification. That doesn’t mean a strike is not possible, it just means in my opinion I don’t think it’s probable. We’ve got plenty of runway to figure it out.”

So, let’s hope that the two parties can soon come together and get this deal done. We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary.

Please contact your V. Alexander account team, or you may also contact our Trade Compliance team at tradeinsights@valexander.com with any questions, and you can always follow us here on our website for updates on this and other topics.