Strike Averted! U.S Reach Tentative Agreement With Railroad Union
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Strike Averted! U.S Reach Tentative Agreement With Railroad Unions

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A railroad strike would cost the U.S economy an estimated $2 billion a day

It came down to the last hours of the night, and with help from U.S President at the negotiating table, 50,000 engineers and conductors will not go on strike and avoid a national crisis. 

President Biden said in a statement, “the tentative agreement reached tonight is an important win for our economy and the American people. It is a win for tens of thousands of rail workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that America’s families and communities got deliveries of what have kept us going during these difficult years.”

“Our rail system is integral to our supply chain, and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travellers and families across the country.” Tweeted Secretary of Labour Secretary Marty Walsh

It’s been 30 years since the last railroad strike in the United States, organized by The International Association of Machinists, which lasted two days, from June 24 to June 26. The strike brought the U.S rail system to a complete halt before Congress passed an emergency Bill banning strikes and lockouts. On June 26, President George H. W. Bush signed the Bill into law the day it got passed. 

That strike also occurred in an election year that later saw Bill Clinton defeating President George H. W. Bush to become the United States 42 President. Unions are cunning and knew if the country went on strike heading into the country’s mid-term election, it would be catastrophic to the Democrats, currently riding a bit of a positive wave with the overturning of ROE v. Wade by the U.S Supreme Court.

Roughly 30% of goods are transported daily across America by rail, and with inflation and rising fuel costs, Americans could not afford further increases to their cost of living. According to the Association of American Railroads, economic damage from a strike could reach $2 billion a day.

The basic framework of the tentative agreement will see union members receive a $1,000 cash bonus every year, a 14% pay increase retroactive to 2020, and an overall 24% wage increase for the five-year duration of the union agreement that runs from 2020 to 2024. 

It is being hailed as a significant victory for Biden, which has also seen a rise in his polling numbers just months before the midterm elections. The Democrats, for now, is looking like they may be pushing back the red wave, which was supposed to be the referendum of the Biden Administration. It may be enough for the President to maintain control of the Senate and House of Representatives come November.

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