Unions representing thousands of rail workers and rail carriers could reach a tentative agreement to end a strike that threatened to shut down parts of the economy, costing the U.S. $2B per hour.
Workers will vote for the deal. If workers accept the deal, the strike that could have started as early as Friday night will be stopped.
Railroad workers must get sick days. Unions initially demanded more.
Biden made a statement stating that the tentative agreement reached tonight was a major win for America’s economy, people, and society. It was the result of a 20-hour negotiation. Marty Walsh, Labor Secretary, mediated the negotiations and Biden was present in the final hours. This is a win for the thousands of rail workers who worked hard during the pandemic to ensure that America’s communities and families received essential goods.
In the summer, the Biden administration initiated the negotiations. His National Mediation Board, however, voted in June to exempt the parties from mediation after just two months.
Biden stated, “Rail workers will enjoy better wages, more comfortable work conditions, and more peace of mind about their health care. ”
The agreement will ensure that supply chain stability is not compromised by railroad strikes. It would cost the U.S. $2 billion per day. Alternative transportation options will not be able to keep up with the freight lines’ work moving goods around the country.