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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Biden Urges Congress To Prevent Nationwide Rail Strike

President Joe Biden on Monday (Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, in Manila) asked Congress to intervene and block a railroad strike before next month’s deadline in the stalled contract talks, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers would take up legislation this week to impose the deal that unions agreed to in September, Josh Funk reported for the Associated Press (AP).


Photo Insert: The September agreement that Biden and Pelosi are calling for is a slight improvement over what the board of arbitrators recommended in the summer.



“Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy,” Biden said in a statement. “Without freight rail, many US industries would shut down.”


In a statement, Pelosi said: “We are reluctant to bypass the standard ratification process for the Tentative Agreement — but we must act to prevent a catastrophic nationwide rail strike, which would grind our economy to a halt.”



Pelosi said the House would not change the terms of the September agreement, which would challenge the Senate to approve the House bill without changes.


The September agreement that Biden and Pelosi are calling for is a slight improvement over what the board of arbitrators recommended in the summer. The September agreement added three unpaid days off a year for engineers and conductors to tend to medical appointments as long as they scheduled them at least 30 days in advance.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The railroads also promised in September not to penalize workers who are hospitalized and to negotiate further with the unions after the contract is approved about improving the regular scheduling of days off.


The US Chamber of Commerce’s Neil Bradley said Biden was correct in advocating for the deal already reached.


Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

“Congress must do what it has done 18 times before: intervene against a national rail strike,” Bradley said in a statement, and he called Congress enforcing the deal agreed to by railroads and union leaders the “only path to avoid crippling strike.”


The railroads, which include Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX and Kansas City Southern, wanted any deal to closely follow the recommendations a special board of arbitrators that Biden appointed made this summer that called for the 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses but didn’t resolve workers’ concerns about demanding schedules that make it hard to take a day off and other working conditions.


That’s what Biden is calling on Congress to impose, AP writer Colleen Long also reported.





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