DENVER (KDVR) — Rail freight interruptions appear to have been avoided. The rail freight workers unions and their management tentatively agreed to a contract early Thursday morning.
Freight unions had rejected an earlier deal that would have increased pay but not addressed working schedules. Union leaders said working hours and schedules for freight workers were lengthy and irregular and needed to change moving forward. They threatened a nationwide strike until conditions were improved.
The strike would have squeezed an already inflation-wracked economy even further, raising prices on everything from consumer goods to energy prices.
The irregular hours go with above-average pay. Freight rail workers outearn most Americans in their compensation.
The American Association of Railroads keeps records of the average freight rail worker pay in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Freight rail workers make a national average of $126,000 per year in pay and benefits across the country.
Colorado’s freight worker pay is slightly lower, an average of $123,000 for the estimated 2,259 workers in the state.
Freight rail pay exceeds the national median income substantially.
The median household income in 2019 was $66,000, meaning freight rail workers make roughly double the median American home.
In Colorado, they make slightly less than double the median state income of $77,000 per year.