Press Release

AFL-CIO Stands with Rail Workers, Calls on Congress to Pass Paid Sick Days

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on Today’s Developments on Rail Worker Negotiations:

Rail workers are an integral part of the supply chain that makes America's economy run. As essential workers, they showed up day in and day out through the pandemic to keep our country moving forward. They deserve good wages, fair treatment and vital protections like paid sick leave. 

As Congress begins deliberating over imposing a contract on these workers, we urge our elected leaders to keep their actions and thoughts firmly focused on workers and their families. While the tentative agreement unions negotiated this year included many critical gains—significant wage increases, caps on health care premiums and prevention of crew reduction—it also fell short by not including provisions on paid sick leave or fair scheduling. It’s now up to Congress to do the right thing by passing paid sick days for rail workers. 

To be clear, rail companies could do the right thing today and grant workers paid sick leave. But they've refused, putting profits over people. That's how we got here. Regardless of what happens in the next few days, the fight for paid sick leave won't end. Calling workers “essential” one minute and treating them as dispensable the next is abhorrent.  We join rail workers—and all America's workers—in securing paid sick leave, fair scheduling, and the dignity and respect they deserve. 

Contact: Steve Smith, 202-637-5018