Tens of thousands of US rail workers are called on to strike later this week, a move that would negatively impact President Joe Biden’s term in office by jeopardizing supply chains.
The parties have met over the weekend to reach an agreement and, despite having found common points, the agreements require ratification by their members.
The possibility of a strike by unions representing more than 90,000 workers worries companies across the country, since such a measure, which would take place on the 16th of this month, could paralyze almost 30 percent of the load of the country, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, collected by CNN.
Biden averted a strike two months ago by imposing a cooling-off period in which disputed issues were discussed in negotiations and an agreement issued. This margin expires this Friday and there are only two ways to avoid the strike: through an agreement between the parties or by extending the current reflection period.
Congress has the authority to extend the deadline, but the unions have urged lawmakers not to intervene in the negotiations.
“At this time when there is so much public concern about the supply chain and inflation, I think there will be a lot of pressure on Congress to intervene,” said attorney Sharon Block, who worked in the Barack Obama and Biden administrations. “Certainly the best result is that there is some resolution before that,” she added, in statements collected by Bloomberg.
The White House believes these tensions must be resolved without jeopardizing the economy or undermining support for Democrats among labor.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated this Sunday that the Biden Administration is monitoring the negotiations. “We hope that they will succeed in avoiding a supply chain shock that affects the country’s economy,” she said on a CNN program, according to Bloomberg.
The strike threat comes as several railway companies have announced record profits. Unions argue that companies are making profits at the expense of their employees, through conditions that encourage workers to quit, CNN reports.
Source: Europa Press