Union threatens to strike over railroad’s virus protections

Nebraska News

FILE – In this July 20, 2017, file photo, a Union Pacific Railroad Company employee stands on a locomotive in Council Bluffs, Iowa. More than two dozen major companies ranging from Campbell Soup to Kia filed anti-trust lawsuits on Sept. 30, 2019 against the nation’s four largest railway companies, contending the railroads had a price-fixing scheme to illegally boost profits. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) — One of Union Pacific’s main unions is threatening to strike if the railroad doesn’t do more to protect its employees from the coronavirus.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division union said the Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad needs to offer its more than 30,000 employees full pay if they have to quarantine because of exposure to the virus, and it wants UP to bolster safety precautions in the workplace.

Union Pacific maintains that it is taking appropriate precautions to protect workers from the virus, and it has gone to court to block the union from striking because it says the dispute should be resolved through collective bargaining.

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