The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) rejected contract terms with railroads and instead opted to strike to secure greater concessions.
A tentative contract offered 24% raises and back pay, according to The Hill, but did not address worker scheduling concerns or demands to take time off for medical appointments. The union will not strike until Sept. 29 in hopes that union leaders could negotiate a new agreement before taking such action.
“We look forward to continuing that vital work with a fair contract that ensures our members and their families are treated with the respect they deserve for keeping America’s goods and resources moving through the pandemic,” it said, per the outlet.
Republicans have lined up before a plan to create a new contract that will block a nationwide walkout and potential disruptions to supply chains. More than 115,000 rail workers may legally strike, beginning Friday.
In anticipation of the strike, Amtrak has announced plans to cancel its passenger trips on long-distance routes, in particular those from Chicago stretching to Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, Reuters reported.
“While we are hopeful that parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later this week,” the railroad said Monday.
Amtrak further warned that additional routes may be canceled in the event of a protracted strike.
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