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Biden gets sarcastic with reporter asking why he didn’t broker deal to give railroad workers paid time off

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‘I love you guys’: Biden gets sarcastic with reporter for asking why he didn’t broker deal to give railroad workers paid sick leave – as Senate votes to avoid strike

  • “Do freight railroad workers deserve more than a day of paid sick leave…and if so, why didn’t you negotiate that?” a reporter asked
  • “I love you guys – I negotiated a convention no one else could,” Biden said with a laugh.
  • “The only thing that was left out was whether or not there was paid leave. You know I tried to get paid time off not just for the railway workers but for everyone’

President Biden made a sarcastic remark about the love of the press when asked why he didn’t push harder for paid sick leave for railroad workers on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted overwhelmingly 80 to 15 to impose contract terms on four of the eight railroad unions that opposed them, averting a railroad strike before the Dec. 9 deadline. .

A reporter asked Biden during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron: “Do freight railroad workers deserve more than a day of paid sick leave like millions of Americans, and if so, why didn’t you negotiate this when you were negotiating this contract that you now want Congress to impose?”

“I love you guys – I negotiated a convention that no one else could negotiate,” Biden said with a laugh.

“The only thing that was left out was whether or not there was paid leave. You know, I tried to get paid vacations not just for railway workers, but for everyone.

The resolution will now head to Biden’s office for signature, although an amendment on paid sick leave will not.

Both houses of Congress voted to impose a tentative White House-brokered deal between railroad workers and railroads that included a 24% wage increase, caps on health insurance premiums and safety measures . Eight of the 12 railway unions ratified the agreement, but four did not because they objected to the lack of paid leave. Biden’s offer came one day – they asked for 15.

Biden celebrated the conclusion of the deal in a statement.

“By working together, we’ve saved this country from a Christmas disaster in our grocery stores, in our workplaces and in our communities,” he said.

“I know many in Congress shared my reluctance to bypass union ratification procedures. But in this case, the consequences of a shutdown were just too great for working families across the country,’ Biden added.

Biden had long opposed congressional intervention in railroad union negotiations — in 1992, he was one of six senators to vote against an agreement to end a railroad strike.

The House also passed a bill on Wednesday to amend the tentative agreement to include seven days of paid leave for railroad workers.

“I love you guys – I negotiated a convention no one else could,” Biden said with a laugh.

Biden gets sarcastic with reporter asking why he didn't broker deal to give railroad workers paid time off

The Senate voted on Wednesday to impose the rail bill after voting down the paid vacation bill 52-42, failing to breach a 60-vote filibuster.

All Democrats voted yes except Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and all Republicans voted no except six- Sens. Mike Braun, Ind., Ted Cruz, Texas, Josh Hawley, Mo., John Kennedy, La., and Marco Rubio.

After Cruz voted for seven days of paid leave, he walked over to give Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and punched him. “I always knew you were a socialist,” Sanders joked.

As Biden noted earlier this week, a railroad strike would “devastate our economy” and could put up to 765,000 people out of work. The President noted that it could even affect drinking water and agricultural supplies if they were unable to access the right chemicals and fertilizers and livestock if they were unable to access to animal feed. Businesses across the country could be forced to close without access to the supplies they need, and the US economy could lose $2 billion a day.

Commuter railroads and Amtrak would also be affected as they often use tracks owned by freight railroads.

September’s tentative deal offered a 24% pay rise over five years for railway workers, health care benefits the cost of which would not increase and sick leave. Fourteen percent of the increase would be effective immediately.

The National Carriers Conference Committee, the group negotiating on behalf of freight railroads, said that at the end of the five years, railroad workers would earn an average of $110,000.

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