CSX railroad promises to pay sick leave to two more unions

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — CSX Railroad has promised to give more of its workers the paid sick time they demanded during contract negotiations last fall.

CSX is the only major freight railroad so far to have agreed to give sick pay to its employees after contentious negotiations last year that ended only after Congress stepped in to block a potential strike.

The Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad said Friday it has reached agreements with two more of its unions, just days after announcing deals with a couple of other unions.

CSX said that about 500 union members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the National Conference of Fire and Oil Workers Unions representing the company’s utilities will soon receive four paid sick days. Employees will also be able to convert three of their personal holidays into sick days for a total of seven days.

The machinists’ union said workers would be paid for any unused sick time at the end of each year, or they could add the value of those days to their 401k retirement accounts.

CSX CEO Joe Hinrichs is trying to rebuild rapport with his employees after a bitter contract negotiation, and these sick leave agreements represent a step in that direction. He said the sick leave shows how much the railroad values ​​its employees.

“We have great respect for the work they do for the benefit of our customers and country, and we will continue to work with them and their representatives to ensure they have the best possible experience on our railroad,” Hinrichs said in a statement. .

The unions said they would seek similar agreements from other major freight railroads.

“Our strength and solidarity has convinced carriers, politicians and the general public that we deserve paid sick leave,” said Josh Hartford of the Amchinist union’s railway division. “Now we see the results of many years of work of our union and many others on this important issue.”

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