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President Joe Biden stops national railroad strike, extends ‘cooling off’ period

By Admin

Reported by Harrison Mantas for Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

President Joe Biden blocked a strike Friday by the nation’s railroad workers by naming a board to help resolve the dispute.

Rail labor unions were preparing to strike July 18 when a federally mandated “cooling off period” expired, however, Biden’s order extends that period for 60 days.

The board’s recommendations aren’t legally binding, but can serve as a jumping off point for compromise.

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Biden names Presidential Emergency Board, preventing rail strike

By Admin

Reported by David Lassen for Trains.

Preventing a national rail strike that could have begun Monday, July 18, President Joe Biden has established a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate the ongoing dispute between railroads and workers.

Biden will name the members of the three-person board, whose members can not have any financial or other interest in either a rail labor organization or a railroad. The board will have 30 days from its establishment, effective Monday, to deliver a report recommending a resolution to the dispute. After that, the Railway Labor Act specifies there can be no work stoppage for another 30 days, except by agreement of both sides.

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Biden creates emergency panel to stave off rail worker strike

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

President Joe Biden on Friday signed an executive order to establish an emergency board to handle an ongoing dispute between freight railroads and their unions over a new labor contract.

The board’s formation averts a potential strike by union members on Monday.

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News update: National rail strike averted

By Admin

Reported by David C. Lester for RT&S.

RT&S reported earlier that we were running out of time to avoid a possible national rail labor strike beginning Monday, July 18. We can now report this potential strike has been averted.

President Biden issued an executive order creating a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) that will avoid a national rail strike and help railroads and their workers settle ongoing national labor negotiations and ultimately agree to a new contract.

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AFL-CIO Transportation Head Says Labor/Shipper Coalition Supports Tougher Regulation of Railroads

By Admin

Reported by Stas Margaronis for American Journal of  Transportation.

The head of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) says a coalition of labor unions and shippers in agriculture, energy and chemicals supports giving the Surface Transportation Board stronger powers to regulate the nation’s railroads

In an interview with AJOT, Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, representing U.S. transportation workers said: “If you would have asked me five years ago if my organization would be signing a joint statement of principles with shipping organizations, big agriculture, big energy and big chemical organizations I would have told you that you are out of your mind but that is what we have done here.”

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Threat of US freight rail strike tests Biden’s union-friendly pledge

By Admin

Reported by Taylor Nicole Rogers for Financial Times.

Joe Biden’s pledge to be the most “pro-union” president is being put to the test as some 112,000 employees of the largest US freight rail carriers threaten to go on strike as early as next week, a move that could cripple the country’s already strained supply chains.

The US’s largest railroads and the unions that represent their employees have tried to renegotiate their expired labour contract for more than two years. But the two groups are at an impasse over pay and benefits, and the federal board that oversees their mediation process abruptly ended talks earlier this month.

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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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