The Gateway Pundit reported this week about an impending major freight railroad strike set for Friday, September 16th. A strike would be devastating to the US supply chain and an already fragile Brandon economy.
America’s freight railroads cover a nearly 140,000-mile network across 49 states. A strike would shutdown 7,000 Class I trains per day as well as disrupting passenger and commuter trains. Freight trains transport nearly every sector of our economy including agricultural, industrial, wholesale, retail and resource-based sectors.
A strike would cost the US economy more than $2 billion a day and disrupt deliveries of all kinds of goods and passenger traffic nationwide. The Association of American Railroads provides extensive details of the devastating economic impact if the strike proceeds.
On Wednesday, almost 5000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 19 voted to reject a proposed agreement.
One of the 10 labor groups that had reached a tentative deal with the United States’ rail companies to prevent a system-wide strike has now rejected the offer.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers announced on Wednesday that its 4,900 members had voted to reject a deal its leaders reached with the U.S. freight railroads in an effort to keep the system running. It is now extending its negotiation process to September 29.
‘IAM freight rail members are skilled professionals who have worked in difficult conditions through a pandemic to make sure essential products get to their destinations,’ the union said in a statement. ‘We look forward to continuing that vital work with a fair contract that ensures our members and their families are treated with the respect they deserve for keeping America’s goods and resources moving through the pandemic.
Meanwhile, two other unions, representing 60,000 engineers and conductors, that are set to go on strike Friday as the Brandon administration scrambles to reach a deal in a desperate attempt to prevent economic turmoil leading up to the midterm elections.
The conductors’ and engineers’ unions remained in negotiations with the nation’s railroad management companies on Wednesday as they demand more quality-of-life provisions be put into their contracts for the coming year, covering attendance policies, vacation, and sick days.
They say working conditions and scheduling issues are driving their members to quit in droves, leaving the railroads with a staffing shortage that those who are left have to fill.
Bloomberg News reports on the impact of a possible strike.
Brandon’s emergency meetings last week, and an additional meeting Monday, have not been successful thus far in averting the looming crisis.Railroad and union officials are back in Washington today to meet with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, according to the White House.