US rail strike possible but not probable

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The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) announced last week that its rank-and-file membership had rejected a tentative labour deal reached in September, setting the stage for a possible strike as soon as Nov. 19 if a new deal cannot be reached.  Six of the 12 railroad unions that represent 115,000 workers nationwide have approved their tentative agreements with the railroads so far, but all of them have to ratify their contracts to avoid a strike. The unions have agreed to put any strike on hold until at least mid-November while the BMWED negotiates a new deal and the other unions vote on their proposed contracts.

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