A railroad worker slammed the Biden administration for helping facilitate infrastructure projects overseas, accusing the president of leaving American railroaders behind at home.
Railroad mechanic Alec Lace ripped the White House for stabbing railroaders “in the back” over their push for paid sick leave, warning he has made a “lot of enemies” within the industry after signing a bill to avoid a massive strike during “Fox & Friends First.”
“Joe Biden has made a lot of enemies with the railroad workers,” Lace told co-host Ashley Strohmier Monday. “This is a guy that campaigned from the basement telling the railroad workers, ‘Hey, I’m one of you guys, I’m Railway Joe, I’m Choo-Choo Charlie, I am with you guys.’ And then what happens? He stabs us in the back by turning down the package that would have gave the railroad workers seven days of sick pay. Now, Joe Biden takes seven sick days a week.”
Biden administration officials met with leaders in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to discuss a railway project that would bolster trade ties between the Middle East, India and the rest of the world.
The White House released a statement Sunday saying the initiative will “advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world.”
Axios reported that the effort comes amid the Biden administration’s push to counter growing Chinese influence within the region.
But even despite national security concerns, Lace reiterated the dire need for investment in domestic infrastructure projects, citing the challenges associated with government bureaucracy and technological innovation.
“The railroad system in America is like a technology museum,” Lace said. “If you want to get into a time machine and see what technology was like 10 years ago, go to any railroad in the United States.”
“Every time we get a new piece of technology or equipment, by the time it goes through all the red tape, all the regulations and actually gets to us on the rail, it’s five years out of date already,” he continued. “So now we’re going to go and stick railroad ties in the desert over in the Middle East. This is why people embrace America First. Let’s take care of the American railroad first before we go over there and start building, what a high speed rail over there? We don’t even have that here in the United States yet.”
Biden signed a law back in December that codified a July deal previously negotiated by rail unions and the Biden administration that would raise workers pay by 24% over a five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification.
The agreement passed by Congress was approved by eight of 12 transportation unions involved in negotiations. The four dissenting unions, representing about 100,000 rail workers, argued the deal was unfair because it included insufficient paid-sick leave time.
They had asked for seven paid sick days, but Congress did not include their demand in the bill, despite an effort from progressive lawmakers and even some conservatives like Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to amend the legislation.
Even though railroad workers have typically voted for Democrats, Lace suggested 2024 could be a turning point in how Biden has angered workers.
The soured relationship could turn the tides as more railroaders vote Republican, or even refrain from voting at all, he said.
“It’s a slap in our face… Just by the book, railroaders usually vote blue. We’re always told vote blue, vote blue. They’re going to do the best for you. That ain’t happening no more. We’ve seen it. We were lied to, and shame on him for doing that,” Lace said. “He’s made a lot of enemies. He’s trying to put a little Band-Aid on it.”
“The people that are running this show realize they made a big mistake and ticked off a lot of railroaders and they’re trying to hold it together with some dental floss, but it ain’t going to fly,” he continued.
Source : Fox News