CSX – Two railroad unions were successful in reaching an agreement on paid sick leave on Tuesday with the freight train corporation CSX Transportation.
The business ultimately decided to offer paid sick days to 5,000 CSX union members.
These are the names of the two unions:
- The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), which represents engineers
- The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), which represents mechanical workers.
The deal was announced by CSX’s president and chief executive officer, Joe Hinrichs, who said:
“CSX is committed to listening to our railroaders and working with their representatives to find solutions that improve the quality of life and experience as employees.”
“These agreements demonstrate that commitment and are a direct result of the collaborative relationship we are working to cultivate with all of the unions that represent CSX employees.”
The two unions and the corporation have an agreement that gives employees four days of paid sick time each year, paid in full.
The two unions also emphasized that members are permitted to take three days of personal leave for sick days.
The agreement was further explained by Don Grissom, president of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen:
“We are extremely proud that BRC is one of the very first unions to reach this type of an agreement.”
“This agreement is a significant accomplishment and provides a very important benefit for our members working at CSXT.”
“The other carriers should take note and come to the bargaining table in a similar manner.”
The agreement, according to the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, sets the way for employees to pay themselves from their 401(k) or donate any unused sick time to it.
The agreement was also explored with BMWED President Tony D. Cardwell.
“The other Class I railroads just reported extremely healthy earnings for 2022, many of which were record setting, and the Workers are the people responsible for those profits,” said Cardwell.
“Other than absolute greed, there is no reason why the other Class I railroads cannot enter into an identical paid sick leave Agreement with BMWED, or any other Rail Union for that matter, especially in light of what CSX and the BMWED have done today.”
2022 contract negotiation
Twelve unions and US freight railroads were unable to reach an agreement on paid sick time during contract negotiations last year.
Tens of thousands of train workers almost went on strike as a result of the contentious discussion.
Last year, the Biden administration stepped in and engaged in negotiations to convince eight unions to endorse the tentative agreement.
Four unions opposed it during that time.
Returning to the negotiating table were the railways and the unions, but the threat of a strike caused the talks to break down.
The unions originally asked for 10 sick days, but eventually reduced their request to four.
The railroad corporations allegedly turned down the unions’ offer, however.
The rejection compelled a vote by Congress to enforce the contract on the four unions.
It prevented a disastrous economic downturn as a result, but it also shattered employees’ aspirations for paid sick leave.
A new frontier
The CSX agreement with BMWED and BRC ushers in a new era for American freight railroad firms.
The company claims they will keep reviewing the contracts with the remaining ten unions.
Only three significant freight railways remain without a sick leave policy at this time:
- Norfolk Southern
- Union Pacific
A Norfolk Southern train derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, last week, causing a tragic catastrophe in Norfolk.
A potentially dangerous substance called vinyl chloride was hauled by the railway in 20 cars.
Residents in the area were forced to leave their houses as a result of the disaster while workers fought to put out the fire and contain the possible leak.
Almost every vehicle that had chemical leaks had been removed from the region as of Tuesday this week.
There is only one car left in the area.
The train’s engineer and conductor were unharmed.