Senate approves proposed deal to end rail strike threat; OR senators split

Freight train generic

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has moved quickly to avert a rail strike that the Biden administration and business leaders say would greatly damage the economy.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September.

That settlement had been rejected by some of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike.

The Senate vote was 80-15. 

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden was one of the 80 who voted in favor.

Sen. Jeff Merkley was one of the 15 who voted against.

“I voted no. It is completely messed up that our rail workers are on continuous call, have no sick leave, and if they miss work due to illness – get fired. The railroads are making billions while treating their workers horrendously,” Merkley wrote in a statement.

It came one day after the House voted to impose the agreement.

The measure now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.


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