'Biden Blew It': Unions Turn On POTUS After He Moves To Avert Railroad Strike

An aerial view of gantry cranes, shipping containers, and freight railway trains ahead of a possible strike if there is no deal with the rail worker unions, at the Union Pacific Los Angeles (UPLA) Intermodal Facility rail yard in Commerce, California, U.S., September 15, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan
November 30, 2022

After President Joe Biden this week urged Congress to prevent rail worker unions from striking, unions turned against the president, accusing him of betraying his commitment to stand by labor.

"Joe Biden blew it," Railroad Workers United treasurer Hugh Sawyer said Tuesday. "He had the opportunity to prove his labor-friendly pedigree to millions of workers by simply asking Congress for legislation to end the threat of a national strike on terms more favorable to workers. Sadly, he could not bring himself to advocate for a lousy handful of sick days."

Biden's conflict with unions comes after he promised them during his 2020 campaign that he would be the "strongest labor president you've ever had."

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, a Teamsters rail workers' affiliate, said it was "deeply disappointed" that the president would not back the union's strike to fight for paid sick days. A national strike could cost the United States $2 billion per day, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The House voted Wednesday to intervene in the labor dispute and avert a strike, pending Senate approval. Congress will also vote on a separate measure that would grant rail workers seven paid sick days.