Biden CAVES Under Pressure – Gives The Other Side EXACTLY What They Wanted
(LibertySociety.com) – On September 15, President Joe Biden announced the railroad companies — which were facing a worker strike — reached a “tentative agreement,” thus averting catastrophe. One day prior, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the subject of a possible railroad walk-out. She said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was brokering a negotiation between the groups to assist in striking a deal to keep trains running. The secretary said the talks occurred over several months, with all parties remaining at the table to “resolve outstanding issues.” Luckily, the talks paid off just in time.
The Negotiation and Deal
In order to avoid a strike, all parties needed to come to an agreement by September 16. After 20 hours of trying to hash out a deal, they came to a tentative understanding in the wee hours of September 15. Had the strike gone through, reports say it would’ve cost the United States upwards of $2 billion per day. Around 60,000 railroad workers and over 7,000 trains sitting idle would have done damage to the supply chain and likely worsened inflation.
Unions cited paid time off for sickness, insufficient pay, and “quality of life concerns” as the issues for railroad employees. President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Dennis Pierce, said what the unions are asking for won’t “harm [the companies’] business model.” He stressed that about 10% of workers could walk off the job without a solid resolution. Pierce said they simply want to be treated “like humans.”
The tentative deal, which would see a 24% pay increase, improved working conditions, and address healthcare costs, still require a vote from union members to finalize the agreement, which will likely happen in the next few weeks.
Contingencies and Moving Forward
On September 13, Jean-Pierre held a press conference where reporters asked if there was a contingency plan just in case the railroads stopped transporting products. She confirmed White House officials were talking with other transportation outfits that work by air, sea, and roadway, asking how they could help in that situation.
The press secretary said they would evaluate the options, identify which products the shutdown would affect, and do everything they could to “keep goods moving.” She also confirmed Biden was talking with both sides while stressing the administration hoped the interested parties would find a middle ground.
Amtrak did stop some trains last week and while negotiations were happening, as the threat of a strike loomed. The company said it’s now working to restore those locomotives to their routes.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke out about the tentative measure, saying the agreement will help workers and the railroads.
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