Buckle up! We have fast-moving developments to share about the looming nationwide rail strike that was temporarily averted in September. Here are the nuts and bolts of what you need to know about where union negotiations stand, how soon we could see a strike, what it means for the economy, and the steps BizFed leaders took to facilitate Congressional action.
- MORE TIME: One of the rail unions that rejected the tentative deal just extended their negotiation period with rail management from November 19th to December 4th. This means more certainty for rail passengers planning to travel over Thanksgiving, retailers gearing up for holiday shopping, and the overall economy.
- STRIKE DATE: If two other major rail unions vote not to ratify the current deal on November 21st, their new “cooling off period” would end December 8th. That would push the earliest possible strike date back to December 9th.
- STICKING POINT: Union members are pushing for more paid sick time that what was included in the earlier deal recommended by the Biden administration.
WHAT WE’RE DOING
It’s critical to ensure our rail sector continues to operate safely, efficiently, and cost effectively to move people and goods without interruption. The stakes are especially high in Southern California – the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach depend on railroads to ship cargo. The health of our nation’s economy also hangs in the balance. A strike is estimated to cost $2 billion daily! Nearly one-third of American freight moves by rail.
BizFed sent a letter to President Joe Biden today.
We also wrote to leaders in both houses of Congress – including U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein – urging them to step in. We’re calling on Congress to implement the deal proposed by a presidential panel, preventing further exacerbation of ongoing supply chain issues.
Our latest letter to federal leaders echoes our earlier call for decisive Congressional action. When talks stalled in September, BizFed issued a joint press release with leaders from the California Business Roundtable, California Retailers Association, FuturePorts, Long Beach Area Chamber, Los Angeles Area Chamber, and San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, urging Congress to implement the proposed deal or extend negotiations.
We encourage you to circulate this intel within your own networks. Stay tuned for developments. Please contact BizFed Senior Policy Manager Chris Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.