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Chamber of Commerce boasts of blocking sick days for railway workers


The US Chamber of Commerce, which is against sick pay for workers, is said to be responsible for blocking a resolution providing seven days of sick leave for railroad employees after sending a letter just days before the Senate vote.

As Breitbart News reported, the US Senate voted earlier this month to pass a resolution, HJRes.100, to impose a contract on freight rail workers, in addition to voting to reject a competing measure, HJRes.100. .Con.Res.119, with a 52-43 margin after needing 60 votes to give workers seven guaranteed paid sick days.

Notably, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the only Democrat to vote against the measure, with six Republicans voting for the measure and several members of both parties not voting.

After the votes, the Intercept reported last weekend that “workers who lobbied the upper house had reason to hope” ahead of the Senate vote. But the railroads “took it hard” on the Senate, and the Chamber of Commerce said they would “score.” Intercept noted that marking the vote means “anyone who voted for him would be punished at election time.”

As the intercept noted, the Chamber of Commerce released a letter on November 30, the day before the Senate vote, stating:

The United States Chamber of Commerce strongly supports HJ Res.100, which provides a solution needed to avert a catastrophic strike that would shut down rail service in America. The House strongly opposes H.Con.Res.119 which would impose an unworkable solution, unilateral modification of a collective agreement which has already been accepted by the leaders of the 12 unions representing railway workers and the majority of all railway workers. The House will consider including votes on both pieces of legislation — including procedural votes — in our annual How They Voted dashboard. [Emphasis added.]

A workers’ strike would cause enormous harm to the nation. Therefore, we invite you to pass HJRes.100 and reject any procedural vote that would alter the terms of the Sept. 15 TAs, including H.Con.Res 119. Congress has acted 18 times since the passage of the Railway Labor Act to avert a shutdown of national railroad service. We invite you to do it again. [Emphasis added.]

Jeff Joines, director of legislative affairs for the Brotherhood of Way Maintenance Employees (BMWED), told the Intercept that four of the senators who were “hard yeses” on sick leave ended up not being for the measure after the Chamber of Commerce sent a letter about how the organization felt.

Joines added that two senators specifically said they were not for the measure after the Chamber of Commerce sent the letter while directly acknowledging that Manchin announced he was not for sick pay. after the letter.

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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