Four Unions Reject Deal, Economy on Brink of Rail Strike

Retailers Urge Congressional Action: Avoid Economic Disaster

Today the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) railway union voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached earlier this year; however, Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) voted to reject the agreement. With four total unions now failing to ratify the deal, a strike is increasingly possible when the status quo period ends on December 8. RILA’s Vice President of Supply Chain Jess Dankert issued the following statement in response.

“Leading retailers’ supply chains are built on an extensive infrastructure, and rail is a major piece of that puzzle as retailers move millions of goods to consumers throughout the country. A strike would cause enormous disruption to the flow of goods nationwide, the effects of which would ripple through the supply chain and the U.S. economy at large.

“Fortunately, this year’s holiday gifts have already landed on store shelves. But an interruption to rail transportation does pose a significant challenge to getting items like perishable food products and e-commerce shipments delivered on time, and it will undoubtedly add to the inflationary pressures already hitting the U.S. economy.

“Retailers urge policymakers to use every tool at their disposal to avoid a self-inflicted economic disaster. Absent an agreement by December 9, Congress must act quickly to codify the tentative agreement reached in September to ensure rails and the larger supply chain remain functional and open for business.”
  • Supply Chain
  • Public Policy
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Workforce

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