The threat of a nationwide rail strike appears to be over for now, as Congressional leaders have agreed with President Biden to impose a contract that some rail labor unions have rejected.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leaders have agreed to introduce legislation to block a strike that had been set for Dec. 9. They had been urged to do so by business organizations and others worried about the effects of a rail strike on the country’s already battered supply chain.
Biden had announced over the weekend that he would ask Congress to step in and resolve the impasse. “As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement,” he said in a statement. “But in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families – I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.”
Eight rail unions had voted to accept a deal with the nation’s railroads, but four others rejected it, mostly because it didn’t allow for sick time. Those unions would have had the power to shut down the railroads with picket lines that the other unions wouldn’t cross.
Democrats are set to impose the same deal that those unions rejected. Republicans in Congress had introduced legislation to impose a deal that would have been worse for workers, according to CNN.