Possible Railroad Strike Threatens Supply Chains as Friday Deadline Approaches
Unless a deal is reached, about 60,000 freight railroad workers will go on strike starting Friday — pulling the brakes on U.S. supply chains and initiating the first national rail strike in decades.
Labor organizers are calling for changes to rail companies’ attendance policies, which they say keep rail workers from taking time off for things like medical appointments; they also raised concerns about increased workloads following recent layoffs. Representatives for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and rail companies BNSF and Union Pacific accused each other of holding up negotiations. Meanwhile, two GOP senators introduced legislation to require unions and companies to adopt the White House Presidential Emergency Board’s recommended solution.
The threat of a strike is already impacting transportation and commerce. Amtrak suspended some long-distance routes on Monday, and rail companies CSX and Union Pacific temporarily stopped shipping hazardous materials. Norfolk Southern, another rail company, stopped transporting shipping containers. In the event of a strike, already-understaffed trucking companies say they won’t be able to meet the country’s shipping demand, and the U.S. would lose about $2 billion per day in economic output.
Coverage was widespread in business-focused outlets across the spectrum, although coverage in major mainstream outlets was featured less prominently than other stories.
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From the LeftLooming railroad strike could be 'economic disaster,' impacting consumers from all angles
A national railroad strike could begin Friday if additional agreements are not reached, which industry experts warn would shut down 30% of the country’s freight and halt many passenger and commuter trains.
Several of the labor unions representing railroad workers in an ongoing contract dispute reached tentative agreements over the weekend, but two of the largest are still holding out for more quality-of-life provisions in their contracts.
Here's how a railroad strike could impact you.
From the RightLosing steam: Amtrak cancels multiple long-distance routes in anticipation of railway strike
Three Amtrak routes went off-track Tuesday when the train company canceled the long-distance routes in anticipation of a railway strike later this week.
The three canceled routes head westward, including the Southwest Chief route from Chicago to Los Angeles, the Empire Builder route from Chicago to Seattle, and the California Zephyr route from Chicago to San Francisco. A portion of a fourth route that saw cancellations heads eastward from Los Angeles to San Antonio in a portion of the Texas Eagle route.
From the CenterShippers ratchet up warnings about impact of potential rail strike
The National Industrial Transportation League, the largest and oldest group of rail shippers, has asked congressional leaders to prevent a railroad strike or lockout that could begin as early as 12:01 a.m. on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Class I railroads today reached a tentative agreement with the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU, the ninth such deal reached with rail labor since the Presidential Emergency Board issued its contract recommendations last month.
The unions representing locomotive engineers, conductors, yardmasters, and signal workers have yet to reach tentative deals with the...