Union Pacific, Utah farmers, relieved threat of strike has passed
Dec 2, 2022, 4:57 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — In a statement to KSL NewsRadio, the Union Pacific Railroad said some of the complaints made by rail unions in the recent leadup to a possible rail strike were misrepresentative of the industry and flat-out not true.
“Anecdotes that rail employees do not get time off work are untrue,” a statement from Union Pacific read.
The Biden administration had ten days to spare when they passed a bill this week to divert a potential rail strike that would have cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a day.
The new rail agreement includes a 24% wage increase across five years, more schedule flexibility and an extra paid work day off per year.
Despite being relieved the “tentative agreement” was met, a Union Pacific representative said the company feels they are generous with paid days off.
“Union Pacific employees receive several paid days off to use as personal days, holidays and sick days,” the statement read.
“No Union Pacific employee has been fired because of missing a single day of work.”
The rail company admitted they will need to “work together” to address quality-of-life concerns that were raised in the recent protests, but are glad the nation’s supply chain can continue to operate.
Along with Union Pacific, farmers are also relieved
One party that is particularly relieved rail freight is still on track, is the nation’s farming communities.
President of the Utah Farmer Bureau Ron Gibson told KSL a rail strike would have been devastating to agriculture.
“So many of our products move via rail, especially today with the high cost of fuel with trucks,” Gibson said.
“It’s not just to move our products out but it’s also to bring products (here) … we get fertilizer, equipment. So much stuff moves back and forth across our country by rail.
“Having the rail shut down and having that strike would be devastating to farmers and ranchers.”
If an agreement was not met, rail workers were due to strike as early as December 9th.