Home United States USA — mix Biden calls on Congress to head off potential rail strike

Biden calls on Congress to head off potential rail strike

37
0
SHARE

President Joe Biden on Monday asked Congress to intervene and block a railroad strike before next month’s deadline in the stalled contract talks, following pressure by business groups on the stalled negotiations.
President Joe Biden on Monday asked Congress to intervene and block a railroad strike before next month’s deadline in the stalled contract talks, following pressure by business groups on the stalled negotiations.
“Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy,” Biden said in a statement. “Without freight rail, many U.S. industries would shut down.”
Congress has the power to impose contract terms on the workers, but it’s not clear what lawmakers might include if they do. They could also force the negotiations to continue into the new year.
Both the unions and railroads have been lobbying Congress while contract talks continue. Four rail unions that represent more than half of the 115,000 workers in the industry have rejected the deals that Biden helped broker before the original strike deadline in September and are back at the table trying to work out new agreements. Eight other unions have approved their five-year deals with the railroads and are in the process of getting back pay for their workers for the 24% raises that are retroactive to 2020.
Biden said that as a “a proud pro-labor president” he was reluctant to override the views of people who voted against the agreement. “But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
Biden’s remarks came after a coalition of more than 400 business groups sent a letter to congressional leaders Monday urging them to step into the stalled talks because of fears about the devastating potential impact of a strike that could force many businesses to shut down if they can’t get the rail deliveries they need.

Continue reading...