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W.Va. Amtrak Stations Set To Reopen Friday Following Labor Agreement

The MARC train's Brunswick Line parked at the Martinsburg Train Station. Photo taken in Apr. 2018.

Rail companies and union leaders reached a tentative agreement Thursday preventing a nationwide strike.

Pending the contract’s final approval, rail workers won the right to attend appointments like doctors’ visits and family emergencies without punishment from their employers. Workers will also earn a 24 percent wage increase through 2024.

Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement following the agreement, “Collective bargaining works. The labor movement works. And we know through lifetimes of experience and unbelievable sacrifice, Teamsters across America’s railroads work harder than anyone.”

Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains run by the Maryland Department of Transportation faced suspension due to the labor conflict. MARC trains that run from Martinsburg into Washington, D.C. run on tracks owned by CSX Transportation.

Long-haul Amtrak trains across the U.S. were previously suspended in anticipation of the potential strike. These include the Capitol Limited, which stops in Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry, and Cardinal, which stops in the New River Gorge, Charleston and Huntington.

“This tentative agreement will keep our trains moving, stations bustling, and employees proudly serving customers as we move them across this great country,” Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said in a statement.

An advisory notice by Amtrak says they are “working to quickly restore canceled trains and reaching out directly to impacted customers.”