House passes bill to avoid freight rail strike

Home passes invoice to keep away from freight rail strike

Authorities leaders took steps to keep away from a nationwide freight railroad strike Wednesday, however the challenge is much from settled and provide chain leaders proceed to foyer for motion in Washington.

The Home of Representatives handed a invoice that may impose an earlier settlement brokered by the Biden administration however that was rejected by 4 of the 12 labor unions concerned. The laws handed by a vote of 290-137, and it now strikes to the Senate, the place trade leaders hope a vote is reached earlier than the unions’ December 8 strike deadline.

The Home additionally handed a separate piece of laws Wednesday that may mandate paid sick go away for railroad employees, a sticking level in the course of the negotiations. That measure handed by a vote of 221-207.

The Nationwide Railway Act permits congress to intervene in labor disputes associated to nationwide railroads due to their potential results on the financial system. President Biden known as on Congress to intervene earlier this week, simply after the fourth labor group voted to reject the tentative deal reached in September. The President cited the potential crippling results of a rail shutdown on provide chains and the broader financial system.

Trade teams had known as on authorities leaders to intervene as effectively, citing potential slowdowns in delivering meals, gasoline, and uncooked supplies, in addition to ripple results on different modes of transportation, particularly trucking. In an announcement Wednesday, the Nationwide Retail Federation praised the passage of the Home invoice and urged the Senate to approve the measure and keep away from a possible strike on December 9.

“America’s railroads serve practically each sector of our financial system and supply entry to international markets. The freight rail system is a lifeline for a lot of industries, making certain the transport of not solely retail items, but additionally important meals and power provides,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay mentioned within the assertion. “We commend the swift motion of the Home to approve this important piece of laws and forestall a possible catastrophic freight rail shutdown that would price the financial system $2 billion a day. It’s crucial that the Senate now acts instantly to approve the measure and ship it to President Biden’s desk. Till the Tentative Settlement is in place, U.S. financial safety stays in jeopardy.”

The Retail Trade Leaders Affiliation (RILA) launched an identical assertion.

“Motion by the Home at present to make sure the U.S. rail system stays up and working is a welcome sigh of reduction to the retail trade and all of those who depend on this key element of our nation’s provide chain,” RILA’s Director of Authorities Affairs Sarah Gilmore mentioned within the assertion. “Any disruption and the uncertainty that surrounds a possible strike of this magnitude is one our financial system can ill-afford.

“We thank Home lawmakers for recognizing the urgency of the state of affairs and performing rapidly. We urge the Senate to do their half to get this laws to President Biden’s desk as quickly as doable.”

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