According to a poll that was commissioned by the Association of American Railroads, the overwhelming majority of voters in the United States want to avoid a rail strike that would ruffle the feathers of the nation’s economy.
According to the findings of a study that was carried out by Forbes Tate Partners, 92 percent of voters believe that it is “essential” for the United States to avoid going to war, with 71 percent of those voters stating that it is “extremely important.” Eighty-five percent of respondents who participated in the survey expressed the opinion that a rail strike would make inflation worse.
If labor organizations and railroad companies are unable to negotiate a contract agreement by December 9 that satisfies worker requests for paid sick leave and more flexible scheduling, then approximately 115,000 freight railroad workers may go on strike. A strike might begin as soon as that day.
Train and engine workers at SMART-transportation TD’s division narrowly voted down a tentative agreement reached in September with the help of the Biden administration. This union is one of the four out of the 12 that have not ratified a deal, and it includes workers at SMART-transportation TD’s division.
Railroads are responsible for moving about one-third of all freight in the United States. A nationwide suspension of the rail system at the beginning of December would create mayhem in supply chains and bring a halt to commuter rail lines in the midst of the busy holiday season.
When voters were informed that the tentative agreement will increase the average remuneration for rail workers to $160,000, including perks, the survey conducted by the railroad organization indicated that 72 percent of respondents believe the arrangement to be fair.
The same number of those who took the survey agreed with the statement that Congress need to get involved to prevent disruptions in rail service. It is within the power of lawmakers to prevent a strike and ensure that the provisional agreement is approved.
Last week, the president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads, Ian Jefferies, issued a statement in which he stated, “Let’s be clear, if the remaining unions do not accept an agreement, Congress should be prepared to act and avoid a disastrous $2 billion a day hit to our economy.” Jefferies made these comments in response to a question regarding the likelihood of the remaining unions accepting an agreement.
Union officials claim that railroad companies are refusing to satisfy the requests of workers because they are aware that Congress is likely to step in to prevent a strike from occurring. Because of this, some of the leverage they had at the negotiation table has been reduced.
“The railroad executives who continually complain about government interference and regularly bad-mouth regulators and Congress now want Congress to do the bargaining for them,” SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson said in a statement that was released the previous week. “The railroad executives who constantly complain about government interference and regularly bad-mouth regulators and Congress”
A survey of one thousand registered voters was carried out by the Association of American Railroads between November 9 and November 16. There is a 3.5 percentage point error margin in this estimate.
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