Quality of life concerns weigh heavily on rail contract vote

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Quality of life concerns weigh heavily on rail contract vote

This week’s vote by the third-largest railroad union against their contract raised the possibility that a crippling nationwide strike could still happen even though the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division union pledged to negotiate more before considering walking off the job.

All 12 railroad unions must approve the contract to avoid a strike. Six smaller railroad unions have now approved their agreements with the major freight railroads after the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers ratified their deal Thursday.

But the workers with the most concerns about demanding schedules that have them on call 24-7 — engineers and conductors, nearly one-third of rail workers — won’t vote until next month.

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