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Railway Strike Threatens U.S. Consumers

Bizuayehu Tesfaye

As a possible rail way strike looms, the U.S. industry braces for impact.

One of the biggest rail unions rejected a deal earlier this week failing to approve contracts over concerns about demanding schedules and the lack of paid sick time.


Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) is warning American consumers that it is “highly likely” a strike will happen in the midst of the busy holiday season. 

“I think it’s highly likely,” Hagerty said, adding “I mean, you hit the nail on the head. The union bosses basically forced their union members to buck up and accept this deal just to get them through the…midterm elections. But now we’re seeing the reality of it. They only offered one additional work day — one additional sick day, I should say. The unions were asking for 15. That’s a big, big gap. Joe Biden declared victory, again, before the midterm elections. This was all, I think, part of the plan. But what we’re seeing now, the whole thing is coming unraveled and it’s going to be a real crisis, a $2-billion-a-day economic impact if you believe the economists’ estimates. I actually think it could be much greater, because if you look at the knock-on effects on supply chains, it will be significant.”

The strike can start as soon as December 9, and it wouldn’t take long for it to effect the economy. 


Hagerty called out President Joe Biden for deceiving the public, saying that he told the nation that he had a plan in place well before the midterm elections. 

Meanwhile, United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the Biden administration is trying to make sure a strike doesn’t happen, saying that there is not enough trucks, barges or ships to make up for the already-suffering railway network. 

The last time the U.S. railroads went on strike was in 1992, which lasted two days before Congress intervened. 

If the strike would happen, it would cost the economy about $2 billion a day. It would take about a year before consumers would notice shortages at the grocery stores. Roughly 30 percent of all packaged food is hauled by trains. 

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