By Railfan & Railroad Staff
WASHINGTON — Approximately 4,900 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 19 have voted to accept the latest Tentative Agreement with the Class I railroads, more than a month after rejecting their first deal.
Only 52 percent of members who voted supported the new deal, union officials said.
“Our union recognizes that the agreement wasn’t accepted overwhelmingly, so our team will continue conversing with our members at our rail yards across the nation. This agreement is the first step in addressing some of the issues in our industry. Our fight was able to shine a light on the work-life balance issues and the lack of proper paid sick leave,” IAM District 19 officials said in a statement.
The new agreement includes a cap on healthcare costs; codified language requiring that employees do not have to double up in hotel rooms; a promise to study overtime policies and the promise to bargain on travel expenses within 60 days. The members will also get a 24 percent wage increase and a $5,000 bonus.
The ratification vote comes weeks after two other unions rejected their own Tentative Agreements, once again setting the stage for a possible strike later this month.