National Rail Strike Looms as Terminal Stop for Biden’s Supply Chain Crisis

(Mark PellinHeadline USA) Already crippled to near breaking point by the Biden administration’s ruinous policy failures, the country’s supply chain crisis could catastrophically implode if the threat for a shutdown of the nation’s rail freight service isn’t averted.

The country’s trains will stop running, literally, if a contract deal isn’t reached by July 18 between national rail carriers and their unions, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegraph.

The two sides have been stalemated over wages and healthcare benefits for several weeks, after mediation efforts failed and the parties were tossed into a 30-day “cooling off period,” which ends next Monday, to reach an agreement.

None has been reached and the dispute seems deadlocked as concerns about a shutdown escalate. A national rail strike would almost assuredly trigger widespread economic upheaval, industry experts warned.

Each year, trains in the United States transport upwards of “1.7 billion tons of raw materials and finished goods” to their ultimate destinations, according to the Association of American Railroads.

Faced with “enormous challenges today from record inflation, labor shortages, and ongoing supply chain disruptions” the US Chamber of Commerce fretted a potential rail strike and “uncertainty over the possibility of further disruptions during preparations for the holiday shopping season.”

“Any breakdown would be disastrous for U.S. consumers and the economy, and potentially return us to the historic supply chain challenges during the depths of the pandemic,” U.S. Chamber head Suzanne Clark wrote to President Joe Biden in a letter that was copied to the administration’s labor and transportation secretaries.

The Chamber, along with the AFL-CIO and the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which represents the railroads in collective bargaining, are all urging Biden to intervene and appoint a Presidential Emergency Board to mediate an agreement, according to the trade publication Freight Waves.

The Chamber’s letter implored the aged conductor-in-chief “to help resolve the ongoing labor negotiations” and declared it  “imperative that the Administration act to prevent any disruption to America’s rail service.”

If Biden intercedes before the July 18 deadline, a board would be convened to make “recommendations that could be used as a framework for a voluntary settlement,” reported Reuters.

Should Biden give it a pass and decide to take another vacation to his Delaware beach haunts, the “the railroads and unions could opt for operational shutdowns or strikes, respectively,” according to Reuters.