Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the looming deadline for a strike by the nation’s freight rail workers:
“I am very concerned about the potential for a stoppage on our nation’s freight railroad lines and urge both sides – the freight rail companies and the unions – to continue engaging in negotiations to reach an agreement and end this dispute as soon as possible.
“I’m encouraged that the White House and Labor Department have been actively engaged and I’m hopeful that an agreement can be reached before the deadline. Our nation depends on the timely transfer of goods by rail and on the men and women who keep the trains running on time. We simply can’t afford to place further strain on our economy and our supply chain, which has been steadily recovering from its pandemic woes.
“A freight rail work stoppage now could set back our strong economic recovery at a precarious time. We must do all we can to avoid such a result.”
- Freight rail operators and the 12 unions representing about 115,000 workers have been negotiating in good faith, but workers may go on strike on Saturday if a new agreement is not reached.
- U.S. railroads transport about 30 percent of domestic cargo. Nearly half a million additional trucks would be needed to move these goods, an impossibility given existing shortages of drivers.
- Approximately 70 percent of the miles traveled by Amtrak trains are on tracks managed by freight railroads. Passenger rail would be significantly disrupted by a freight rail work stoppage.