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BMWED Statement Regarding Congressional Vote to Impose Agreement With No Paid Sick Days

Published: Dec 1 2022 5:58PM

December 1, 2022

Dear United States Congress Representatives and Senators:

Today, the Senate voted and passed legislation to adopt tentative agreements (with side letters and local carrier agreements) between the railroads and Unions to resolve this round of national negotiations and avert a national rail strike or lockout or shut down by the carriers. A disruption to our nation’s economy and supply chain has been averted. But the Senate also voted to reject the bill that would provide paid sick leave for all Railroad Workers. This leaves me baffled, exasperated, and deeply saddened.

The Federal Government inserted itself into the dispute between the railroads and the Railroad Workers under the premise that it must protect the American economy. Yet, when the Federal Government makes that decision, its Representatives have a moral responsibility to also protect the interests of the citizens that make this nation’s economy work – American Railroaders. That is, Members of Congress were obligated to vote to pass paid sick leave for all Railroad Workers. The Representatives were not obligated to protect the exceeding profits of the corporations. A number of Members of Congress chose - yet again - to trample on the Workers, in their rush to cozy up to the corporations.

It is shocking and appalling that any Member of Congress would cast a vote against any sort of provision that raises the standard of living for hard-working Americans. In fact, such a vote is nothing less than anti-American, an abdication of their oath of office and you are deemed, in my eyes, unworthy of holding office. I am resolved to shine a light on their votes over this issue, because all Railroad Workers deserve to know, and need to know who will stand and fight with them for what is right and just. They also deserve to know and need to know those who are willing to put them in harm’s way to save their own political and personal self-interests.

Thank you to all Members of Congress who supported paid sick leave for Railroad Workers. We deeply appreciate your willingness to fight for the Working Class. We are resolved to continue the fight for paid sick leave for Railroad Workers, and we ask for your continued support to secure it through whatever means possible. We are here and ready to work with you on moving America forward, and to raise the standards for Railroad Workers and all Working Class people.  


Tony D. Cardwell 
BMWED National Division President