President Joe Biden Says Railroad Provisional Labor Agreement Has Been Reached


Tankers filled with oil are seen in storage at the BNSF Railway Company’s Watson Yard in Wilmington, California, US, on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Joe Biden announced that a tentative agreement has been reached to give railroad workers better wages, better working conditions and “peace of mind about their health care costs.”

The new contracts offer rail workers a 24% pay increase over the five-year period from 2020 to 2024, including an immediate payout averaging $11,000 upon ratification, according to the Association of American Railroads. All preliminary agreements must be ratified by union membership.

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Preliminary agreements have been reached with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, representing approximately 60,000 employees, the Association of American Railroads said in a press release.

“I thank the unions and rail companies for negotiating in good faith and reaching a preliminary agreement that will keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruption to our economy,” Biden said in a statement.

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Railroad and union negotiators met in the office of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on Wednesday as the parties attempted to negotiate a deal ahead of Friday’s strike TBEN.

— Lori Ann LaRocco of TBEN contributed to this report.

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