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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.

“We’re focused on making sure people are educated about how we got to this point; what our concerns are; what we want, for the members that we represent,” AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan told Shift.

If an agreement is not reached in the coming weeks, a work stoppage looms in September — a possibility that has business groups on edge ahead of the holiday shopping season.

That it overlaps with separate negotiations along the West Coast ports only heightens the complexity for a White House that has had to be sensitive to supply chain concerns and has vowed to be a steadfast supporter of organized labor.

“At its core this is a supply chain issue, and if we have any hope of solving the supply chain crisis that we’re in we need to make sure that the workers who are responsible for [the supply chain] are paid what they’re worth,” Regan said.

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