More than 400 business groups are telling congressional leaders they are prepared to avert a rail freight strike that could hurt the economy as early as next week.
“Nobody benefits if the railroads fail,” business groups led by the Chamber of Commerce wrote in a letter Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Leader of Senate Minority Mitch McConnell.
Congress could force both sides into a treaty or extend a “cooling off” period for negotiations to keep the railroads running and avoid disrupting interstate commerce under the Railroad Labor Act of 1926. At the heart of the dispute between the railways and their workers there is a layoff plan.
449 trade groups — from the Aluminum Association and the Beer Institute to the US Apple Growers Association and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association — have said it’s a “major emergency” as even a brief shutdown could cause big problems. They said the best outcome would be a voluntary agreement between unions and railroad hauliers, but stressed that Congress must prepare for the worst.
“In the absence of a voluntary agreement, we urge you to take immediate action to prevent a national railroad strike and resulting economic devastation,” the groups wrote, noting that Congress has intervened in union talks 18 times since 1926. in intergovernmental negotiations. trade was. threat
A railway strike could become a reality as early as December 9, leading to shortages, price hikes and factory production. According to business groups, this could also disrupt commuter traffic, which carries up to seven million passengers a day, and the transport of, among other things, 6,300 wagonloads of food and agricultural products a day.
But the trade groups warn in the letter that many businesses will feel the effects of the nationwide well strike as early as Dec. 5 in the form of business disruptions and other repercussions. They noted that a possible train strike earlier this year caused “significant disruptions” to supplies of essential goods and products, including fertilisers, chlorine and other items, before the strike was averted by a tentative 11am deal .
“Congress must be prepared to intervene before the current status quo period expires on December 9 to ensure continuity of rail service” if an agreement is not reached, “the letter reads. aroused great concern”.
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