OABA, National Partners Urge Congress to Intervene in Rail Labor Dispute
OABA, along with our national partners, is asking members to contact their senators and representatives in Congress to urge them to prevent a shutdown of the U.S. rail network.
The Biden administration brokered an agreement between the National Railway Labor Conference, which represents railroads, and 12 rail labor unions on Sept. 15 that prevented a rail strike subject to final ratification by the unions. However, four unions have now voted against ratification. Congressional action will be necessary if they fail to reach an agreement before the “cooling-off” period ends, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 5 for one union and for Dec. 9 for the other three unions that voted to not ratify.
Agricultural organizations continue to urge these negotiators to remain at the table and work in good faith to come to an agreement. However, should the parties not be able to come to terms, Congress needs to remain in session and act immediately to prevent a rail strike or lockout to avoid significant economic damage to U.S. supply chains and further uncertainty for rail customers.
Send a message to your members of Congress today urging them to intervene without delay to prevent a rail stoppage of any duration. In just a few minutes, you can take grassroots action using Agricultural Retailers Association's easy-to-use advocacy tool with a pre-written message that can be sent to your elected officials. Click below to send a message.
Why it Matters
The U.S. rail network moves critical agricultural inputs and significant quantities of ag products. These essential items are transported by rail to domestic facilities and to ports for export abroad. A complete stoppage of the rail system would lead to shutdowns or slowdowns of rail-dependent facilities resulting in devastating consequences to our national and global food security. A potential rail stoppage is estimated to cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion per day.
OABA recently signed two letters with out national partners reaching out to Congress regarding the rail labor dispute. Click the button below to read more.