Norfolk Southern Union will give members seven paid sick days per year

Norfolk Southern Union will give members seven paid sick days per year

(Reuters) – U.S. rail operator Norfolk Southern Co said on Friday it had reached an agreement with its two labor unions to provide its members with seven paid sick days a year.

The company said it will provide four days of paid sick leave and allow members to use up to three additional days of existing paid time as sick leave.

Agreements were reached with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, Transportation Workers, Mechanical Departments (SMART-MD) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and will benefit approximately 650 railroaders immediately.

It comes a month after White House officials renewed pressure on executives of the largest US railroad operators to reach a deal to secure paid sick leave for workers after President Joe Biden signed legislation to block a national railroad strike in December.

After U.S. railroads finalized their union labor agreement last year, Norfolk Southern said it would carve out local terms for its workers on paid sick leave and other quality-of-life issues.

With Friday’s announcement, six of the 12 unions representing Norfolk Southern employees have negotiated paid sick leave benefits locally, the railroad said.

A company representative was not immediately available for additional comment.

Norfolk has recently drawn criticism from the US government following several train derailments, including the February 3 devastating derailment of a freight train carrying hazardous materials in Southern East Palestine, Ohio.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Josie Kao)

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