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First Boats, Now A Rail Shipping Crisis Threatens Recovery

At a glance

  • The Biden administration urged railroads and unions to reach a deal to avoid a railroad work stoppage, saying on Monday it would pose “an unacceptable outcome” to the U.S. economy that could cost $2 billion a day.
  • America’s freight railroads have already stopped accepting shipments of hazardous and other security-sensitive materials because of the looming threat.
  • Rising stakes in the labor dispute that could lead to the first national railroad strike in 30 years as soon as this Friday. About 60,000 union members who work for the railroad are set to go on strike, including the engineers and conductors who make up the two-person crews on each train. Even though 45,000 other union members belong to unions that have reached tentative deals with the railroads, a strike by engineers and conductors would bring the freight rail system, which carries nearly 30% of the nation’s freight, to a grinding halt.

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