Might Union Chiefs Override Member Vote?

Written by Frank N. Wilner, Capitol Hill Contributing Editor
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National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix alleges rail union officials “are so close” to the Biden Administration—the AFL-CIO terms it “the most pro-union Administration in history”—and so eager to join with Biden in political victory laps that union members “wanting their voices heard [such as by voting down tentative agreements] will wind up being at the mercy of union officers and politics.”

If tentative wages, benefits and work rules agreements reached between rail labor unions and most Class I railroads (and many smaller ones) fail to be ratified by union members in coming weeks, might leadership of those unions override a majority “no” vote and unilaterally impose the tentative agreement or, alternatively, submit it to binding arbitration rather than pursue further collective bargaining or authorize a strike?

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