Preparations are again being made for a rail strike as another rail union rejected the current offer known as a National Tentative Agreement. For the first time, over 60% of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) voted against the current contract and criticized the Presidential Advisory Board (PEB) and National Carriers Conference Committee for not recognizing the importance of essential time off and fair pay. Rejecting the National Tentative Agreement means that a “cooling off period” will take effect through December 4th so the parties can return to negotiations and possibly find a way to resolve their differences.
Impacts of a Rail Strike
While more than half of the rail unions agreed to ratify the contract, it’s disconcerting that the BRS saw record voter turnout with overwhelming disagreement with the contract. If both sides can’t agree, a strike is expected to cost the US economy $2 billion per day. Expectations for supply chain disruption and plans to mitigate delays from a rail strike have been building since the possibility of a strike threatened back in September.
More than likely, the Biden Administration will once again get involved to bring the parties back to the table with an agreement that can more easily pass through the three remaining unions yet to sign on to the National Tentative Agreement.
Preparing for Disruptions
TOC Logistics is working on solutions to help our customers navigate any disruptions. We encourage our customers to work with their TOC Logistics representative to prioritize the cargo that needs to move and prepare alternate plans that could include transloading and over-the-road trucking for critical shipments that may be negatively impacted in the event of a rail strike.
Advanced notice of changes, updates, and scheduling will be our customers’ best tools to avoid delays that arise with a strike. Flexibility and communication with your TOC Logistics representatives can help us arrange the proper equipment on a timeline that suits your business. Our worldwide network of strategic industry partners offers customers a wide range of services and options for their cargo. Using a proactive approach to planning your logistics needs this winter can minimize the cold sting of a strike.
This is a developing story we will update as more information becomes available throughout November. Contact your TOC Logistics representative today if you have any questions about how to prepare your logistics plan for possible holiday disruptions.