Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) have been censured by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) after the pair, longtime members of the group, voted to enforce a contract that would stave off a national railroad worker strike.
In a press release issued on Sunday (December 4), the DSA asserted the Biden Admin “sold out workers” by imposing a “terrible contract on railroad workers through the… Railroad Labor Act (RLA).”
The group expressed that they “disagree” with the administration’s actions and were “disappointed” in Ocasio-Cortez and Bush for voting “to enforce the TA [tentative agreement].”
On Friday (December 2), Biden signed into law legislation that he described as averting “what could have been a real disaster.”
The law codified a deal the administration made with rail unions in July.
The deal would increase railroad workers’ wages by 24 percent over five years from 2020 to 2024.
Friday’s legislation and the July deal would also include an immediate payout to workers averaging $11,000 when ratified.
The agreement Congressional leaders signed off on had only been agreed to by eight of the 12 transportation unions involved in negotiations.
The four unions — representing roughly 100,000 railroad workers — disagreed with the deal because of insufficient paid sick leave, which they believe is unfair.
Friday’s bill excluded seven days of paid sick leave despite the urging of lawmakers, including progressive lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez, and Republican lawmakers like Senators Mark Rubio (Fla.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.).
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), another member of the DSA, also voted in favor of the legislation but escaped criticism from the group.