The largest union for U.S. railway workers voted to reject a tentative deal with the major rail carriers, rekindling the possibility of a nationwide strike hitting the system.
The proposal workers turned down had been brokered with the help of the Biden administration, which has been trying to head off a work stoppage heading into the holidays. Many workers have said the deal does not go far enough in addressing their concerns, particularly as it relates to sick leave.
Jeremy Ferguson, the president of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers, which is the largest union under the contract, said the members had spoken by turning down the five-year deal.
“It’s now back to the bargaining table,” Ferguson said in a statement.
Members of the second-largest union involved, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, voted to approve the deal. But a strike by any group of workers would likely be honored by other unions, affecting the entire system.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.