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Rail Strike Bill Is A Democratic Failure To Support Workers

Posted on the 03 December 2022 by Jobsanger
Rail Strike Bill Is A Democratic Failure To Support Workers

There will be no rail strike. President Biden and the news media are celebrating that as a good thing. I'm not so sure that it is. To me, it represented a failure to support and protect union workers. And it could have repercussions in future elections.

It one thing for politicians to say they support unions and workers (as Democratic politicians do). But it's another to actually put that support into practice -- and in passing this bill, the Democrats failed to do that.

The sticking point was on whether to grant workers seven days of paid sick leave. Seven days is not an excessive amount. The Republican dominated (and anti-union) government of Texas grants its workers 12 days of paid sick leave. It is not too much to ask rail companies to give their workers a paltry seven days.

The failure started with President Biden, when he negotiated an agreement without paid sick days. 

Then the House Democrats failed, when they split the bill into two bills -- one to approve the agreement and avert a strike, and a second that would have given the workers seven days of paid sick leave. The Democrats had the votes to combine and pass the two bills, and that's what they should have done.

Then Senate Democrats failed, when they passed the first bill after knowing the second would not pass. They should have refused to vote for the first bill unless the second was also passed. This would put pressure on Republicans to vote for the sick leave or be responsible for a rail strike.

President Biden, in signing the bill, said it was the right thing to do. I'm sure the rail corporations agreed, but I doubt the union workers did. They will remember that Democrats abandoned them when they needed support. And other unions will now wonder if Democrats will support them when push comes to shove.

Union workers used to be a solid block of votes for Democrats. It's this kind of thing that has destroyed that. 

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