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Senate approves bill enforcing railroad labor agreement before strike deadline, sends to Biden

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The Senate passed legislation that would force a tentative rail labor agreement and thwart a national strike.A separate vote on adding seven days of paid sick leave to the agreement failed.The approved bill, passed by a vote of 80 to 15, now goes to President Joe Biden, who had urged Congress to act quickly before this month’s strike deadline and “send a bill to my desk for my signature immediately.” The measures come after talks had stalled between the railroads and four unions, which had previously rejected the agreement.Biden has said he was reluctant to override the vote against the contract by some unions but stressed that a rail shutdown would “devastate” the economy. Labor groups have said that enforcing an agreement with the legislation denies them the right to strike.In a statement after the Senate vote, Biden said he would sign the bill into law “as soon as Congress sends it to my desk.””I know that many in Congress shared my reluctance to override the union ratification procedures. But in this case, the consequences of a shutdown were just to …

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