A tentative agreement between US freight railroads and unions to avert the disruption in the US supply chain was announced this morning. The labor deal is not final until workers vote on it, but it’s a relief after a week of news warning about a potentially crippling blow to the economy.
Tens of thousands of workers were poised to strike at midnight this Friday. The agreement still needs to be ratified by union members, but union leaders describe the agreement as a negotiating win. Workers have agreed not to strike until the votes are tallied.
While both sides compromised, workers representing engineers and conductors won several key concessions they were seeking including better pay and more flexible schedules. The agreement includes voluntary assigned days off, the ability to take time away from work to attend to routine and preventive medical care and exemptions from attendance policies for hospitalizations and surgical procedures.
The White House stepped in to manage the negotiations that lasted into late last night. President Biden, in a statement, stayed partial calling the tentative deal, “an important win for our economy.”
“We are relieved that the stoppage was averted for now,” said Joe Monaghan, Worldwide Logistic Group’s CEO and president.
It’s being reported that the deal will most likely be ratified, but the vote is weeks away with no concrete date set. “We are cautiously optimistic. We will still stay abreast of the situation and continue our communications with ports, rail and all affected logistics partners who have been working on contingency plans to help ease the blow if a strike were to happen,” Mr. Monaghan said.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your Worldwide Logistics Group representative.