On Wednesday, November 30th, the House passed legislation that would force a tentative rail labor agreement which would thwart the potential national strike. The bill is now headed for the Senate. The majority leader has already promised a swift passage. The house vote approved legislation which would permit new contracts that provide railroad workers 24% pay increases over five years starting. These new contracts would also include immediate payouts upon ratification roughly $11,000 and even an extra paid day off.
All of this has been in efforts to prevent a national rail strike which the industry forecasts would end up costing the United States economy $2 billion per day.
“This overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives makes clear that Democrats and Republicans agree that a rail shutdown would be devastating to our economy and families across the country. The Senate must now act urgently”President Biden
“Passing legislation to enforce an agreement denies them the right to strike and will not fix the problems or concerns of railroad workers”Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Based on federal safety measures, railroad carriers are required to begin prepping 7 days before the strike date. Carriers are required to put an emphasis on securing the movement of sensitive materials like chlorine, which are used for drinking water, as well as many other hazardous materials. Chemicals are no longer permitted to be transported 96 hours before a strike date.
According to the American Chemistry Council, railroad industry data shows a drop of 1,975 carloads of chemical shipments during the week of Sept. 10 when the railroads stopped accepting shipments due to the previous threat of a rail strike.
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