Rail Strike Would Bring ‘Dire Consequences’
This is yet another problem facing our economy. We must pray that this is not the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
From The Center Square. Small businesses, truckers and the rail industry are warning that a major economic fallout would occur if railway unions follow through with a strike beginning Friday, including further supply chain delays, increased inflation, lost jobs and shuttered businesses.
The groups said there would be “dire consequences” if the railways shut down. A range of goods, including grain, oil, ethanol, fertilizer, and more are transferred via rail and would be in significant danger of supply chain shortages. That would likely mean higher prices for consumers across the board.
The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council sent a letter to Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle saying small businesses will not survive any more economic disruptions. Recent surveys from the small business network Alignable show 63% of businesses have frozen hiring, and in July about half said they are in danger of going out of business this fall.
“Most of our nation’s small businesses will not be able to endure another disruptive economic event that throws business operations and supply chains into chaos,” SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan wrote in the letter. “If the freight railroads and their unions fail to reach an agreement by the end of the week, a shutdown of the nation’s rail service would inflict costly – and perhaps irreversible – harm for many local businesses nationwide.”
A report from the Association of American Railroads said that the shutdown would cost $2 billion per day and “would immediately harm every economic sector served by rail.” The group said 7,000 trains per day would be affected and would “trigger retail product shortages, widespread manufacturing shutdowns, job losses and disruptions to hundreds of thousands of passenger rail customers.”
Currently, rail moves about 28% of U.S. freight, which means trucks would have to pick up the slack. Union leaders are haggling over time off, pay raises and bonuses as several industries watch closely, fearing the worst. …
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