Rail companies, union negotiators reach tentative agreement

The U.S. Department of Labor issued the following statement after rail companies and union negotiators reached a tentative agreement:

“Moments ago, following 20 consecutive hours of negotiations at the Department of Labor, rail companies and union negotiators came to a tentative agreement that balances the needs of workers, businesses and our nation’s economy. Secretary Walsh and the Biden administration applauds all parties for reaching this hard-fought, mutually beneficial deal. Our rail system is integral to our supply chain, and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travelers and families across the country.”

Unions representing thousands of workers and freight rail companies reached a tentative agreement to avoid a strike after all-night negotiations last night. The agreement is going to the heads of union members for a ratification vote, while workers agree not to strike until the vote is tallied. The vote is expected to be ratified, and companies are looking to getting supply chain issues moving forward.

Amtrak is now working quickly to get long distance passenger trains back on the tracks quickly.

The almost-strike, which could still happen if not ratified, was a result of workers unsatisfied with access to health-care, available time off to attend medical appointments, and wages, amongst other issues.