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President Biden faces deadline in U.S. railroad labor standoff

By Admin

Reported by Lisa Baertlein for Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden faces a deadline next week to intervene in nationwide U.S. railroad labor talks covering 115,000 workers, or open the door to a potential strike or lockout that could threaten an already fragile economy and choke supplies of food and fuel.

The stakes are high for Biden, who wants to tackle inflation-stoking supply-chain woes and is already working to reach a deal in the critical labor talks at West Coast seaports.

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Nation’s supply chain hurt by railroad workers being ‘ground to dust,’ AFL-CIO head says

By Admin

Reported by Harrison Mantas for Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Efforts by national freight rail carriers to increase efficiency are having the opposite effect, a union official said Tuesday.

Demoralized workers are leaving the industry causing delays and damage to the national supply chain, said Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Major rail carriers have cut roughly 45,000 positions in the past six years, according to an April 2022 report from the federal Surface Transportation Board. 

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Amtrak aggressively rebuilding its workforce as federal dollars pour in

By Admin

Reported by Dan Zukowski for Smart Cities Dive.

With the windfall of federal dollars from the infrastructure law, Amtrak is pursuing major projects along the Northeast Corridor — Amtrak’s Washington, D.C.-New York-Boston route — including major tunnel and bridge replacements. In addition, Amtrak’s intercity corridor plan could add 30 or more new routes and increase service on at least 20 existing lines. To meet those growth needs, Amtrak plans to expand its workforce as much as 21% this year, according to the Amtrak OIG report.

The railroad has hired 1,500 new employees as of June, but the tight labor market prompted it to offer hiring bonuses and relocation packages to fill critical positions. “They recognize they need to build up the workforce as aggressively as possible so that they can meet the service demands and meet the expectations that come with this amount of investment,” Regan said.

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President Biden faces deadline in U.S. railroad labor standoff

By Admin

Reported by Lisa Baertlein for Reuters.

U.S. President Joe Biden faces a deadline next week to intervene in nationwide U.S. railroad labor talks covering 115,000 workers, or open the door to a potential strike or lockout that could threaten an already fragile economy and choke supplies of food and fuel.

The stakes are high for Biden, who wants to tackle inflation-stoking supply-chain woes and is already working to reach a deal in the critical labor talks at West Coast seaports.

If the president declines to intercede in the railroad labor negotiations by appointing a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) before 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, the railroads and unions could opt for operational shutdowns or strikes, respectively. If appointed, the board would make recommendations that could be used as a framework for a voluntary settlement.

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US Chamber Calls for White House Help in Rail Labor Dispute

By Admin

Reported by Eugene Mulero for Transport Topics.

Citing supply chain concerns, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined other transportation stakeholders in calling on the White House to assist with labor disputes in the freight rail sector.

Suzanne Clark, the chamber’s CEO, argued recently that White House-level assistance with appointing a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) would be useful in avoiding supply chain connectivity disruptions across the freight sector.

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RAIL WORKERS PREP FOR NEXT STEP

By Admin

Reported by Nick Niedzwiadek and Eleanor Mueller for Politico.

RAIL WORKERS PREP FOR NEXT STEP: Freight rail workers held a demonstration Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska, near a key linkage in the country’s supply chain infrastructure.

It is one of several moves that labor leaders are teeing up to rally support among members and the public ahead of a July 18 deadline for the White House to appoint a Presidential Emergency Board to resolve an ongoing labor dispute between unionized rail workers and the freight industry.

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Lincoln railway workers rally for better work conditions, wages

By Admin

Reported by Grace McDonald for KOLN.

Railway workers rallied outside of the BNSF Railway offices on Sunday. Participants marched and chanted around the Lincoln Station, advocating for more benefits, a pay raise and a new contract.

“We’ve gone too long without proper pay raises, proper benefits, sick leave,” said Jakob Forsgren, local chairman of Lodge 1320 for the Brotherhood of Maitenance Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “We’re fed up with the way that we’ve been treated the last couple of years in these contract negotiations, and it’s clear to me that I’m not the only one who has those feelings. So we’re just here to kind of show the railroads that enough is enough.”

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CORPORATE BILLIONAIRES ARE WRECKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN. JUST LOOK AT THE RAILROADS

By Admin

Reported by Mel Buer for The Real News.

Before these past two years, if you were polling passersby on the street, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone ready to admit that they were seriously concerned about the supply chain. You’d be hard pressed, for that matter, to find many who could describe what the supply chain actually is (present company included). That is certainly not the case today. From shortages—and correspondingly high costs—of groceries and consumer goods like baby formula and sunflower oil to medical devices, “supply chain issues” have become a pronounced source of anxiety and frustration for consumers, workers, businesses, and politicians alike.

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Oppose Anti-U.S.-flag Shipping Amendment in NDAA

By Admin

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), representing 37 labor unions across all modes of transportation, and USA Maritime, a coalition of American ship operators, maritime labor organizations, and maritime trade associations, we urge you to oppose an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act led by Representatives Jackie Walorski, Jim Costa, Michelle Fischbach and Mariannette Miller-Meeks that would eliminate Ship American “cargo preference” rules essential to our U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S.-flag shipping industry. This amendment is similar to H. Con. Res. 92 and companion to S. Con. Res. 37 and 38, which Senators Joni Ernst and Chris Coons introduced in May.

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TTD to STB: ‘Expand Reporting Requirements to Address Self-Inflicted Service Cuts’

By Admin

Reported by William C. Vantuono for Railway Age.

The 37-union-affiliate Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) on July 1 sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board in response to the agency’s “information collection request” regarding Class I railroad reporting requirements. The letter, signed by TTD President Greg Regan, asks the STB to further increase the already stepped-up reporting requirements to include additional employment data.

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