Deadline To Block Freight Rail Strike Looms For Biden
A BNSF rail terminal worker monitors the departure of a freight train, on June 15, 2021, in Galesburg, Ill. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar, File)

(KFOR NEWS  July 15, 2022)   OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The deadline for President Joe Biden to intervene and keep 115,000 railroad workers from going on strike and disrupting deliveries of cars, crops, containers of imported goods and countless other products and raw materials is looming.

Biden is widely expected to name a board of arbitrators to review the contract dispute and make recommendations on how to settle it before Monday’s deadline. Once he does that, any strike or lockout will be delayed 60 days under the federal law that governs railroad contract talks.

A White House official said the Biden administration is going through the standard process to decide whether to appoint this special board to intervene in the contract talks.

Businesses that rely on railroads have urged Biden to appoint that Presidential Emergency Board to try to bring the freight railroads and workers together to reach a deal. Groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and major trade groups of railroad shippers all wrote to Biden over the past month since the talks deadlocked and mediation officially ended to say a rail strike could cause catastrophic disruptions in the economy.

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