After 20 hours of talks orchestrated by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the White House announced last week that freight railroads and rail labor organizations reached a tentative agreement. Biden called the deal a “big win for America” as complete shutdown of the freight rail system was averted.
Angered by difficult working conditions, Union members have yet to ratify the agreement, which could take several months.
Without the tentative agreement, the nation’s supply chain would have been disrupted, affecting nearly every industry, and led to even higher inflation and product shortages.
If the union accepts the deal, those workers whose pay was frozen would receive double-digit increases and would be able to seek certain types of medical care without fear of being penalized, union leaders said. The agreement also includes an immediate 14.1% increase in wages.