The railway unions and U.S freight railways have reached a tentative agreement early Thursday, just hours before the strikes were set to begin. This new agreement still needs to be approved by union members, but it is a major victory for the Biden administration and could help forestall nationwide transportation crisis.
The freight railway unions, representing 115,000 employees, may have agreed upon an arrangement which will hopefully avoid disastrous shutdowns that could damage the country's economy, but the industry isn't in the clear yet.
The Biden administration has finally stepped in to help negotiations between the union and the transportation company after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on their own, even after much concession. This agreement must now move to be voted on and will hopefully be ratified by the 12 lead union representatives' 115,000 members.
Biden's intervention to assist in finding middle ground between these groups shows his efforts to keep things moving and will be a step in the right direction. These actions have been among Biden's latest actions in his vow to tackle inflation and supply chain woes that have hit the economy. Although these efforts have halted what could have been a disastrous strike, many are wary of the still undecided results, as it now falls on the hands of the voting members, either to ratify or reject this new agreement.
The onset disruption of supply chains caused by a strike could have frozen approximately 30% of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, causing inflation to increase, costing the United States up to $2 billion per day. These actions would mount a cascading series of transportation issues that would affect the United States' energy, farming, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail sectors. Thankfully, while the vote is ongoing, the workers have agreed not to strike. Biden's efforts so far have been promising, but only time will tell if they will be enough to sustain the economy in its current state.
If the deal is approved, it will be a notable accomplishment for the administration and will help avert any potential service disruptions. However, there is still a chance that the agreement could fall through, so the administration needs to stay vigilant and continue to work with the unions in order to keep the transportation system running smoothly. These bold and proactive actions shine light on the administration as they continue to foster the economy and workers’ rights during uncertain times and this will hopefully help to garner further trust with the American people.
The Biden administration has been able to reach tentative agreements with unions just in the nick of time, averting potential transportation crises. However, more work still needs to be done in order to ensure that the economy does not falter. The Biden administration has shown its commitment to keeping the country running and ensuring that Americans have access to necessary goods and services. We applaud their efforts and will continue to support them as they work hard on behalf of all Americans.