Alec Lace, a railroad mechanic, has criticized the Biden administration for neglecting American infrastructure while prioritizing projects overseas. In an interview with Fox & Friends First on Monday, Lace accused the president of turning his back on railroad workers after campaigning to support them.
“Joe Biden has made a lot of enemies with the railroad workers,” Lace said. “He stabs us in the back by turning down the package that would have given the railroad workers seven days of sick pay. Now, Joe Biden takes seven sick days a week.”
Lace’s comments came after Biden officials met with leaders in Saudi Arabia over the weekend to discuss a railway project that would enhance trade connections between the Middle East, India, and the rest of the world. The White House stated that the initiative would “advance their shared vision of a more secure and prosperous Middle East region interconnected with India and the world.”
Despite the national security concerns, Lace reiterated the necessity for investment in domestic infrastructure projects, citing government bureaucracy and technological innovation as significant challenges to the American railway system. “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by the time it goes through all the red tape, all the regulations and actually gets to us on the rail, it’s five years out of date already,” he said.
Biden signed a law in December that codified a deal negotiated by rail unions and his administration, raising workers’ pay by 24% over a five-year period. However, the deal did not include sufficient paid-sick leave time, a request made by the four dissenting unions representing about 100,000 rail workers. Despite efforts by progressive and conservative lawmakers to amend the legislation, Congress did not include their demand in the bill.
Lace suggested that Biden’s actions could harm the Democratic Party’s traditional support from railroad workers, potentially causing more to vote Republican or not at all. “He’s made a lot of enemies. He’s trying to put a little Band-Aid on it,” he said.
“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,” Lace continued.
The current situation has left many in the railway industry feeling neglected, as foreign infrastructure projects take precedence over domestic needs. With Biden’s support waning, it remains to be seen whether railroad workers will remain loyal to the Democratic Party in future elections.