Oak Hill, WV (WOAY) – One of the largest rail unions rejected a tentative contract offered by the White House over concerns about demanding schedules and the lack of paid sick time.
The SMART Transportation Division, or SMART-TD, representing about 28,000 conductors, voted against the contract in a vote that attracted a record turnout.
The contract was rejected by a small margin, with 50.8% of workers voting against it.
A nationwide strike could go into effect as soon as next month unless all 11 rail unions approve the contract since they vow not to cross the picket line. Four unions have ratified the agreement so far.
The U.S. hasn’t experienced an extended rail strike in a century. American consumers and nearly every industry will be impacted without the regular usage of freight trains.
Additionally, commuters would be left without transportation since several passenger railroads use tracks owned by the freight railroads.