Rail workers are calling out President Joe Biden after he forced the unions to accept the deal, claiming that the president has no concern for the quality of life of the workers.
A week after Congress voted to avoid a railway industry strike, rail workers are warning of the negative consequences Biden’s decision will have.
In an 80-15 vote, Congress voted on three measures relating to rail worker demands, codifying an agreement negotiated by the White House and 12 of the nation’s rail unions.
The director of communications for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), Clark Ballew, said that the union will not forget who had their backs when they fought for paid sick days.
"You can damn well bet that railroaders took note of who stood with us and who failed to support the basic common decency of paid sick days," Ballew said, representing the third largest rail union in the U.S.
The rail union workers cautioned that Biden could face struggles in the next presidential election “because Biden's slowly showing the true colors.”
“I've always known he is only looking for votes, but several unions and members are just now realizing that. If he cared, wanted to show that he cared about the work that we're doing and some of the sacrifices we have had to make, he should have stayed out of this or fought harder,” a rail union worker said.
They called out Congress for being able to agree, arguing that asking for paid sick days is a simple request.
Roadway mechanic Reece Murtagh told CNN that Biden disappears when the going gets tough.
“We have a pro-labor president who loves to, you know, pat himself on the back for that, and when the going got tough, he turned his back on the people he’s supposed to be looking out for,” Murtagh said.
The deal would raise workers' pay by 24 percent over five years from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification. The four largest U.S. unions asked for just seven paid sick days but Congress did not agree to that request.