World Teen - Main Article
Signup Teachers & Parents
Railroad Deal Deadline Looms
News Bytes 11/22/2022 0 Comments

Railroad engineers voted in favor of a deal with United States railroads Monday. But conductors rejected theirs. Rail transportation is in a shaky situation. All 12 railroad unions must approve any contracts to prevent a strike. A walk-out could cripple supply chains and hamper a stressed U.S. economy still emerging from the pandemic.

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) says a rail strike “would cause enormous disruption to the flow of goods nationwide.”

“This year’s holiday gifts have already landed on store shelves. But an interruption to rail transportation does pose a significant challenge to getting items like perishable food products and e-commerce shipments delivered on time,” says Jess Dankert of RILA. His group represents more than 200 major retailers. He adds, “It will undoubtedly add to the inflationary pressures already hitting the U.S. economy.”

A strike would also hinder passenger rail travel.

The two biggest railroad unions—engineers and conductors—split the vote Monday. Along with the conductors, three other unions also rejected their deals with the railroads. Seven smaller unions plus the engineers approved the five-year offering that includes a 24% raise and $5,000 each in bonuses.

Many workers are still frustrated with demanding schedules and deep job cuts in the industry. They say the proposed contracts don’t resolve workers’ quality-of-life concerns. (Read about the early days of the discussions in All [Not?] aboard U.S. Rails.)

Union officials agreed to return to the bargaining table. They hope to hash out a new agreement before a new strike deadline early next month. But those talks have deadlocked. That’s because the railroads refuse to add paid sick time to the offer.

The unions argue that railroads should have given paid sick time to workers long ago. They say the pandemic highlighted that need.

Meanwhile, railroad officials maintain that contract deals should follow proposals made this summer by a President Joe Biden-appointed panel. They say the unions agreed to give up paid sick time in favor of higher pay and strong short-term disability benefits.

The ongoing wrangling may force Congress to settle the dispute. Lawmakers could impose contract terms if both sides can’t reach an agreement. Congress can also block a strike. Hundreds of business groups urge Congress and President Joe Biden to be ready to intervene.

“A national rail strike would severely impact the economy and the public,” the committee representing the railroads says. “Now the continued, near-term threat of one will require that freight railroads and passenger carriers soon begin to take responsible steps to safely secure the network in advance of any deadline.”

The head of the Association of American Railroads trade group, Ian Jefferies, says, “If the remaining unions do not accept an agreement, Congress should be prepared to act and avoid a disastrous $2 billion a day hit to our economy.”

(Freight train cars and containers at Norfolk Southern Railroad’s Conway Yard in Conway, Pennsylvania. AP/Gene J. Puskar)

Leave a comment
  • Keep comments on topic and related to the subject matter of the article. (Off-topic comments will be deleted.)
  • Be respectful of everyone, including other readers as well as individuals in the news stories. Disagree politely.
  • Do not post links to websites outside of WORLDteen.
  • Keep personal information such as full name, age, location, and contact information private.
  • Read your comment before posting to be sure you have typed what you wish to say in public.
Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.

Most recent comments
Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login