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BMWED’s Status Quo Period Ends on December 9th Following SMART-TD and BLET Ratification Results

Published: Nov 21 2022 8:12PM

BMWED’s Status Quo Period ends effective 0000:01 on December 9th following SMART-TD’s failed ratification while BLET Agreement ratifies.  

The BMWED congratulates BLET Members and Leadership for their successful ratification of their National Agreement as they bring this round of national negotiations to a close.  

Now SMART-TD’s and BMWED’s status quo period ends at 0000:01 on December 9th.  The BRS’s status quo period is still scheduled to end at 0000:01 on December 5th.  If the BRS goes on strike on December 5th, BMWED Members are to honor any lawful picket line.  Regardless of the when the status quo period ends for any Rail Union, we will continue to coordinate and work together through the end of this round of national negotiations.  

Over 55% of Railroad Workers (SMART-TD BMWED, BRS and IBB have made it very clear that the tentative national agreements are not satisfactory settlements for the workforce.  The most common sticking point for BMWED, BRS and IBB Members has been the lack of quality-of-life improvements, namely the lack of paid sick leave.  BMWED, BRS and IBB have made paid sick leave proposals to the railroads, but the railroads have made it clear that they will neither engage in any meaningful discussions nor accept any sort of proposal regarding such.  This is very concerning, given the already perilous state of the railroad industry and its exhausted workforce.  

“Over the last year, numerous employers throughout the world have analyzed what they could do to attract and retain talented employees.  The railroads have done the complete opposite.  They’ve ignored industry regulators and customers’ concerns about maintaining an adequate workforce, and they’ve ignored the workforces’ pleas for improvements to their working conditions and quality of life.  This has gone on long enough.  It is time for the railroads to improve the quality of life for their workforces.  It is time for the railroads to provide paid sick leave to all their employees, not just its executives, management, and office staff.  We remain hopeful the railroads will do the right thing,” BMWED President Cardwell said.

Instead of addressing the real concerns of their employees and implementing common-sense attendance policies that ease tensions and provide some level of compassion, railroad managements continue their stubborn refusal to provide what others now recognize as a basic right. It is our belief that railroad management simply seeks to punish their employees for attempting to exercise their democratic rights to reject a tentative agreement and engage in collective action to gain paid sick time off. They do not want this campaign to succeed because it would prove that solidarity works.

It would be simple for railroad management to provide its Union laborers with paid sick time off, as it only would cost them $0.01 of every dollar of their record profits to provide it for all railroad workers. They already do it for their office staff and corporate leadership. But doing so here would illustrate a winning formula for organized labor and instead of meeting their employees’ honest and reasonable request, they’d rather risk a strike and potential economic calamity for the entire nation for the sake of hoarding more of their record profits.