The Burlington Northern – Sante Fe (BNSF) railroad is preparing to go on strike. This will involve 17,000 workers across the nation and will disrupt supply chain channels even further.
FOX News in Minot – Bismark, North Dakota reports:
A new work policy at BNSF Railway that starts Feb. 1 has prompted more than 17,000 employees to decide to go on strike over what they call “the worst attendance policy ever.”
The SMART Transportation Union released the following statement: “This unprecedented BNSF policy repudiates direct and clear contract language and, in application, will attempt to force our members to report for duty without regard for their medical condition as we struggle to come out of a pandemic,” the presidents said. “It also stands to take away any ability by our members to avoid working fatigued when they are routinely called without warning due to the complete lack of reliable train lineups, thus creating the potential for an even more unsafe railroad operation. So-called ‘forced overtime’ in an industry where safety is so critical not only repudiates our agreements, it stands to enact irreparable harm on hundreds of full-time employees whose non-workplace obligations prevent them from being at work every day of their life.”
KXNET reports that railroad management are trying to prevent the strike. They claim the strike will be detrimental to the economy.
BNSF railroad wants a federal judge to prevent two of its unions from going on strike next month over a new attendance policy that would penalize employees for missing work.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based railroad went to court after the unions that represent nearly half of BNSF’s 35,000 workers threatened to strike over the new policy that is set to go into effect on Feb. 1.