The Latest Railroad Union Debacle Highlights the Fragility of U.S. Supply Chains

The Latest Railroad Union Debacle Highlights The Fragility Of U.s. Supply Chains - Gettyimages 1236603644 513891

Just as supply chains started showing signs of normalcy, a new crisis threatened to disrupt the transport of goods across the country.

In July, major railroad unions voted to authorize a strike over national contract negotiations. While most unions agreed to a proposal that included immediate wage increases and cumulative raises, two unions, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the SMART Transportation Division, held out for improvements to working conditions. Together those unions represent nearly half of the 115,000 freight rail workers. The unions say workers often stay on call for several days at a time, working 12-hour shifts with little notice, and are penalized for calling in sick.

The prospective worker stoppage was averted after President Biden helped solidify a deal on Thursday, just 24 hours before the federally mandated 30-day “cooling off” period ends, which would have likely resulted in strikes and lockouts. Rail workers will finally…

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This article was written by Brit Morse and originally published on