Sep 16, 2022

Tentative railroad agreement reached

Posted Sep 16, 2022 3:48 PM

The Biden administration helped to broker a deal between the major railroads and labor unions.

The agreement avoids a rail shutdown but still has to be approved by a vote of union members.

The biggest issue in the dispute wasn’t pay but working conditions.

Some freight rail engineers and conductors faced on-call schedules that could see them called to work on short notice up to seven days a week.  CNN says roughly 30 percent of America’s freight moves by rail. Recently harvested crops would be stuck, unable to reach processing plants and risk spoiling.

The shutdown would have likely made inflation worse, cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion a day, and affected the agriculture, manufacturing, and energy sectors of the economy.  

Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, told Reuters that the deal is great for the ethanol industry as much of the country’s biofuel supplies are moved by railroads.