Shipping and Logistics

Rail Strike Averted, Tentative Labor Agreement Reached

Written by Becca Moczygemba

On the heels of a lengthy arbitration period, union negotiators and the major rail companies have settled on a tentative labor agreement to further avoid a strike.

rail transportationA statement made on Sept. 15 by the US Department of Labor noted, “Moments ago, following 20 consecutive hours of negotiations at the Department of Labor, rail companies and union negotiators came to a tentative agreement that balances the needs of workers, businesses and our nation’s economy. Secretary Walsh and the Biden Administration applaud all parties for reaching this hard-fought, mutually beneficial deal. Our rail system is integral to our supply chain, and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travelers and families across the country.”

Though agreements are subject to ratification, the Association of American Railroads expressed their gratitude in a Sept. 15 press release. “Thanks to the dedication of all members involved in the collective bargaining process, these new contracts provide rail employees a 24 percent wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification, following the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250,” said the Association.

The agreement will keep supply chains flowing and allow the rail companies to continue providing services to customers across the country, noted Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner.

Just a day before the agreement was reached, the American Iron and Steel Institute had called on Congress to help to avoid the rail strike, as it would have huge impacts on the nation’s steel industry.

Amtrak also announced on Sept. 15 that they are working to restore canceled trains and accommodate any customers who have already been impacted by the cancelations.

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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