BLET Members Authorize Strike

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said its members have voted to authorize a national railroad strike.

Union officials said 99.5 percent of the participating membership voted in favor of the strike authorization.

Any labor action, though, is still several weeks away because the process required by federal labor law in railroad contract negotiations has yet to run its course.

The next step in that process could be for President Joseph Biden to appoint a presidential emergency board to make recommendations to resolve the contract talks stalemate.

Biden has until July 18 to do that and he has been pressured by various rail shipping trade associations to do so.

It was the first national strike over national contract negotiations since 2011. The current negotiations have been ongoing for more than two years.

BLET represents more than 57,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, brakemen, firemen, switchmen, hostlers and other train-service employees.

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