Trucking group warns of ‘dire penalties’ for provide chain if huge railroad strike occurs subsequent week

On Friday, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) advised lawmakers {that a} looming railroad employees strike might have a devastating influence on the U.S. trucking trade and the provision chain at giant.

As unions representing greater than 90,000 railroad employees put together to go on strike on September 16 if they don’t obtain new labor contracts, the ATA is sounding the alarm that the already strained U.S. provide chain is in danger if trucking is requested to choose up the slack of the railroad trade.

In a September 9 letter to Congressional leaders, ATA President Chris Spear asks that they be ready to take swift motion to “keep away from a debilitating and pointless labor disruption that might price the nation billions every day.”

Spear writes:

Whereas trucking and rail firms compete for floor freight, trucking can be the most important buyer of the rail trade, and each industries depend on each other to maintain our provide chains wholesome and environment friendly. We ship the final mile of just about each product that rail transports … Idling all 7,000 lengthy distance every day freight trains within the U.S. would require greater than 460,000 further long-haul vehicles day-after-day, which isn’t potential based mostly on gear availability and an present scarcity of 80,000 drivers. As such, any rail service disruption will create havoc within the provide chain and gasoline inflationary pressures throughout the board.

Spear continues:

Extra insecurity positioned on the nonetheless fragile U.S. provide chain – as we get well from COVID and different provide chain stressors and transfer in direction of the vacation season — will hurt the economic system at giant and particular person People. It’s due to this fact very important that agreements be finalized for all contracts earlier than the tip of the cooling off interval.

Congress might act to stop a labor stoppage by both implementing one other cooling off interval (President Biden prevented a railroad strike about two months in the past by implementing the cooling off interval that’s expiring on September 16) or by intervening to implement a contract.

The ATA identified that one other cooling off interval might lead to a railroad strike in October or November, which the group stated might be “arguably worse than one subsequent week” resulting from pressures positioned on the provision chain by the vacations.

A report launched earlier this month by the Affiliation of American Railroads (AAR) predicted {that a} railroad shutdown would price the U.S. $2 billion per day in misplaced financial output. The report additionally advised {that a} railroad shutdown would lead to retail product shortages, misplaced jobs, widespread plant shutdowns, increased prices for customers and companies, and “extra vehicles on the freeway and extra CO2 within the air.”

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