OSCEOLA, Iowa — As the vote to stop the pending rail strike moved from the House to the Senate, railroad union leaders were still calling on Congress to honor what had already been negotiated for.
Leadership at SMART Union, which represents Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transit Workers, issued the following statement as the bill made it’s way to the senate.
Unfortunately, threats to the economy have caused this Congress to believe that a strike aversion is the best course for this nation. We implore them to not allow political pursuits or efforts to result in a scenario where we are forced to accept less than what is currently on the table. We ask these elected leaders to stand with our essential workers and urge the House and Senate to vote in favor of guaranteeing seven days of paid sick leave to rail workersSMART Union
Over in Creston people expressed concern about the strike because the BNSF Railroad has a base here, and some of the workers live in the Creston area. Here too, townspeople say they’ve heard how workers don’t get sick time and need more time off in general. This town also ships piles of grain out via the railroad.
In Osceola some Amtrak travelers concluded a trip from California before the strike could have taken place.
“I’d heard about it, like a month ago,” said Kelly Cortum, of Norwalk. “Sounded like things had gotten settled, then I started hearing a little bit about it a day or two before we left.”
“I wasn’t really concerned, I’ve traveled to other places that have had bigger issues with strikes,” said Mary Kennedy, of Norwalk. “This was kind of minor since I was stateside, there’s always another alternative way to get home.”