The clock is now ticking in earnest in the contract negotiations between freight railroads and their labor unions, reports The Wall Street Journal. President Biden’s appointment of a Presidential Emergency Board pushes back potential disruptions in rail services, and the panel now has 60 days to broker a settlement between the Class 1 carriers and unions representing around 115,00 workers.
Members of one of the 12 unions have recently voted to authorize a strike, adding urgency to contract talks that have been underway for nearly three years.
The rail-labor tensions are the latest sign of workforce strains across the transportation sector. Airline pilots in the U.S., dockworkers in Germany and rail unions in the U.K. are among the labor groups that have recently been locked in disputes with employers.
Dockworkers at U.S. West Coast ports also are working without a contract, raising anxiety levels in supply chains.
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