Biden stabs unions and workers in the back

Any employee, irrespective of the kind of work they do, deserves a fixed number of paid unplanned leaves. 

The purpose of working is to support yourself and your family. That purpose is rendered meaningless if you cannot avail of unplanned leaves for medical situations or emergencies of the employee or family members.

In rail unions, there's a public interest in their getting this sick leave, too, because workers who don't get paid sick leave are incentivized to show up to work with colds, flu, COVID, or whatever is going around, as they don't get paid otherwise.

Sadly this was the situation with at least some of the 100,000 rail workers across the U.S.

They were unhappy about attendance policies that have been introduced in recent years on a local level in many areas, which makes it difficult for them to avail of paid unplanned leaves for issues such as illness. 

These unions who represent these workers threatened to go on strike if their demands were not met.

The workers who would go on strike work for freight rail companies, 

These freight trains carry about 40% of the country's cargo each year, this includes shipments of grain; chemicals such as fertilizer; three-quarters of new cars; roughly 70% of the country's coal and 30% of packaged food; and myriad other essential commodities that end up on the shelves of supermarkets.

A strike could have broken supply chain systems across the country causing the skyrocketing of prices, which are already high due to Bidenflation.

According to the Association of American Railroads, a strike would cost $2 billion a day in lost economic output.

This could have a devastating effect on the economy which is already struggling due to Biden’s poor economic policies.

Above all, it could cause huge losses to businesses across the country.

So how did it reach a point where unions saw no option but to go on strike?

The 12 unions and major rail companies spent more than two years trying to negotiate a new contract before turning to the Biden administration earlier this year to try to broker a deal for the more than 100,000 workers.

By mid-September, the White House brokered a deal between rail companies and unions which improved the time-off policies at the rail companies.

But some unions found the terms unsatisfactory.

By October two, unions representing about 18,000 rail workers voted down the deal and by November, the nation's largest rail union also voted down the deal, dramatically escalating the possibility of a strike that could have begun by December 9.

By the end of November, Biden asked Congress to intervene and avert a potential strike by forcing the workers' unions to accept the White House-brokered deal.  

Three days ago, legislation was passed 290 to 137 in the House of Representatives, binding companies and workers to a September deal. The House also voted 221-207 to give rail workers seven days of paid sick leave, in a separate bill. 

Next, the Senate passed the rail deal 80 to 15. However, the sick leave legislation failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster.

Finally yesterday, Joe Biden signed a bill into law making a rail strike illegal, preventing workers from walking off the job weeks before the holiday season and no guaranteed paid sick days.

This is a stark contrast from what Biden claimed he would do during his ‘campaign.’

Back then Biden claimed to be pro-worker and pro-union and pledged to “ensure that workers can exercise their right to strike . . "  Biden’s campaign website also states that “the right of workers to withhold their labor, or to strike, is fundamental to balancing power in the workplace.”

Biden’s actions have shocked and disappointed many workers who voted ‘no’ to the White House-brokered September deal because they thought the terms were unfair and inhuman.

So what has Biden’s record been on spending time away from the workplace?

During the 21 months of his term, Biden made 55 visits to Delaware, totaling some or all of 174 days. Biden has made 19 visits, or all or part of 64 days, to the Camp David presidential retreat in rural Maryland.

The facility of paid sick leave is available to employees of the government, including the members of Congress who voted against sick leaves for the workers.

Yet, Biden and the Democrats did not feel the workers deserved the amenities they received.

This should come as no surprise. The modern Democrat party, has shown disdain for regular working-class people on myriad occasions. They may claim that terms such as 'deplorable' are only meant for Trump supporters, but in reality, it is meant for the working class.

The policies that Democrats support are also detrimental to the working class.

The Democrats championed lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic which hurt small businesses and daily wage workers. The Democrats supported vaccine mandates which once again hurt workers who were skeptical about an inadequately tested vaccine and were compelled to quit their jobs.

The influx of illegal aliens owing to Biden’s refusal to enforce border security once again hurts workers. Corporations looking to cut costs will usually hire illegal immigrants who are temporary and who work for less than minimum wage and without benefits. 

The Democrats merely use workers and unions as they use various other ‘minority’ groups. They ignore the need and concerns all through their tenure, and in the months before the elections, the age-old promises are once again made and the workers vote Democrat. The cycle continues and the problems prevail. The Democrats take these groups for granted.

A similar approach is followed for issues such as abortion; the Democrats do nothing while in power, and scare voters against voting for Republicans.

Unfortunately, these tactics work, the Democrats didn’t exactly perform poorly during the midterms.

The anger and frustration on the part of these rail workers against Biden after he signed a bill that was against their interest, is meaningless unless it causes the workers and union leaders to vote differently in 2024.

Image: PXHere // CC0 public domain

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