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Is rail freight coming off the rails with impending strikes?

September 13, 2022

Two of the largest rail unions, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers’ Transportation Division have yet to come to terms with agreements, as reported by Cargo Business News.

If they do not reach an agreement with the railroads by September 16th, “workers would then be allowed to strike while railroads may replace or lock out workers,” according to Cargo Business News.

One Midwest importer we interviewed said that while their rail freight had been delayed at destination, it took over a week to transfer it to their warehouse. They were told that a critical shortage of chassis and possibly a shortage of drayage drivers were to blame.

Five of the 12 rail unions – representing approximately 27,000 of the 115,000 unionized workers involved in the negotiations – have since reached tentative agreements.

Meanwhile West coast port workers, while continuing to work during negotiation talks, could strike if an agreement is not reached soon.


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