(Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden on Monday called on Congress to approve a labor deal to avert what he called a “potentially crippling national rail shutdown” on December 9.
“As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” Biden said in a statement. “But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
“Congress should get this bill to my desk well in advance of December 9th so we can avoid disruption,” he added.
Following Biden’s statement, Nancy Pelosi said the House would vote this week on legislation to get to the President’s desk.
“This week, the House will take up a bill adopting the Tentative Agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms — and send it to the Senate,” she said in a statement.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Monday’s briefing that Biden has been “directly involved” in the process.
Biden said the agreement would provide a 24 percent pay increase raise for rail workers and improved health care benefits. However, two of the country’s biggest rail unions are at odds over how to proceed. SMART-TD union, which represents rail conductors, rejected the contract while members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, voted to support the move.