Headline RoundupSeptember 13th, 2022

Possible Railroad Strike Threatens Supply Chains as Friday Deadline Approaches

Summary from the AllSides News Team

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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