State news

Rail workers win key concessions in deal to prevent strike

Amtrak says it's working to restore canceled trains now that a tentative railway union deal is in place that avoids a strike.

Under the labor deal, rail workers will receive 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses. Railroads agree to ease strict attendance policies to address some union concerns about working conditions. Railroad workers will be able to take unpaid days off for doctor's appointments without being penalized. The unions that represent conductors and engineers had pressed hard for changes in the attendance rules.

President Joe Biden announced the deal Thursday and says it'll keep the ``critical rail system'' working. The tentative agreement goes to union members for a vote.

Amtrak said Thursday that it is reaching out to impacted customers to accommodate on first available departures. Amtrak had canceled a number of its long-distance trains this week as a potential strike loomed. A strike would have disrupted passenger traffic as well as freight rail lines, because Amtrak and many commuter railroads operate on tracks owned by the freight railroads.

Big commuter rail systems in the New York metro area, such as Metro North and Long Island Railroad, would have been unaffected.

The tentative agreement will go to union members for a vote.  

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