Crop Shipments To Be Halted Over Railroad Problems

( )- Last week, as a railway strike loomed, some railroads were preparing to stop shipments of crops in anticipation. However, last Thursday, a tentative deal was reached averting last Friday’s strike.

On Thursday, the White House announced that it had secured a tentative deal but union members, angered by work conditions, have yet to ratify the agreement.

The tentative deal was reached after about 20 hours of talks brokered by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh between the major railroads and unions.

Walsh hosted contract talks in Washington between the unions representing 115,000 railway workers and Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Kansas City Southern railroads.

The workers agreed not to strike while voting is tallied over the next several weeks, avoiding the strike that would have started last Friday.

Desperate for a win, President Biden quickly took credit for averting a strike that would have devastated the US economy even more than he has already devasted it.

In a Rose Garden speech on Thursday, Biden called the tentative deal a “big win for America” and vowed to reach other union agreements in the future.

Secretary Walsh told Reuters that the tentative agreement is a good contract for union workers and the companies.

If the unions vote to accept the deal, workers would receive an immediate 14.1 percent wage increase.

It is now up to the unions to get their members to vote in favor of the tentative deal. But some labor experts suggest that this might be a tough sell.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that many railway workers are not happy with the tentative deal and some of them began picketing outside of their workplaces on the eve of voting.

Voting on the deal began on Thursday and will last until mid-October.

If just one of the twelve unions votes against the tentative deal, tens of thousands of railway workers could end up going on strike anyway, essentially bringing to a halt 40 percent of the freight shipping in the United States.