Wisconsin’s US Senators voted Thursday for a measure to avert a nationwide rail strike. Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Republican Ron Johnson voted ‘yes’ to send the measure to President Biden’s desk. The Senate vote was 80-15.
The agreement will give rail workers a roughly 24 percent pay increase by 2024 and more sick time flexibility. It does not include any new paid sick leave, the sticking point that could have resulted in a disruptive rail strike by the end of next week. Baldwin voted for a House passed amendment granting the rail workers seven paid sick days failed in the Senate on a 52-43 vote, short of the 60 votes needed for approval.
In a statement, Johnson said the ‘cooling off’ period should have been extended to force railroads and unions back to the negotiating table while keeping trains rolling. But he said a shutdown would have harmed people and the economy.