Curtis Tate Published

Union's Rejection Of Labor Pact Renews Rail Strike Threat


A key railroad labor union has voted down a deal with rail companies, again raising the possibility of a strike.

That could be disruptive in West Virginia.

CSX and Norfolk Southern trains move West Virginia coal to the ports of Baltimore, and Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia. Without them, coal shipments would be stranded and couldn’t reach overseas markets.

A rail strike could also disrupt the movement of consumer goods from ports to retail stores just ahead of the holidays.

Amtrak service in West Virginia, the Capitol Limited and the Cardinal, would also be affected.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees rejected a contract that increases their pay. Rail workers say the contract doesn’t go far enough to address quality of life concerns — paid sick leave is a big one.

To avoid a strike, they’ll have to reach an agreement before Thanksgiving.