Crisis averted! Amtrak, the union reaches an attempt to avoid a general strike
Financial Associated Press, September 15 (publisher Niu Zhanlin) On Thursday, Eastern Time (September 15), the White House said that under the mediation of the Biden administration, Amtrak reached an agreement with the union representing more than 100,000 workers. preliminary agreement. The turnaround avoided a worst-case scenario that could paralyze a key lifeline of the US economy and fuel US inflation that hovered near 40-year highs if rail disruptions materialize.
The news also had a major impact on the financial market: After rising nearly 10% yesterday, the price of natural gas futures in the United States plummeted nearly 9% today, and is now at $ 8.29 per month. British thermal million. U.S. fuel and gasoline both plummeted by more than 5%.
“I thank the unions and the railway companies for their sincere negotiations and for reaching an interim agreement to keep our critical rail systems running and avoid disruption to the economy,” Biden said in a statement. “With unemployment still near historic lows, and there are signs of progress in lowering costs, and tonight’s deal allows us to continue our drive for long-term economic growth that ultimately serves working families.”
This comes after a committee appointed by Biden last month issued a series of recommendations to resolve the dispute, including raising wages and improving health coverage. But the proposal does not include timetables, attendance and other crucial provisions for the two unions that had resisted an agreement.
Those workers whose wages have been frozen will receive double-digit increases and changes to attendance policies, according to a union group leader. The railroad said the deal included an immediate pay rise of 14.1 percent.
According to the official website of the United States Department of Labor, the United States Department of Labor released a statement on Thursday that after 20 consecutive hours of negotiation, the railroad company and the union negotiators reached a preliminary agreement that balances the needs of the workers, businesses and the nation’s economy.
The Biden administration applauds the efforts of all parties to reach this mutually beneficial agreement. The rail system is an integral part of the supply chain and disruption of the rail system would have catastrophic effects on industries, travelers and families across the country.
Railroad workers will receive higher wages, better working conditions and health care costs, according to Biden’s tweet. Biden said he was grateful to the unions and the railways for negotiating in good faith.
Amtrak said it was working to restore rail service. Earlier on Thursday, the company had suspended all long-distance rail services in anticipation of a strike.
Matthew Shay, chief executive of the National Retail Federation, thanked the Biden administration for their speech, adding in a statement that his group was relieved and cautiously optimistic.
The number of U.S. railroad workers has dropped from more than 600,000 in 1970 to about 150,000 in 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Over the past six years, the rail industry has seen massive layoffs, with companies slashing workers’ wages and other costs while increasing profits, share buybacks and dividends for investors.