The Looming Freight Train Strike Would Make Very Bad Things Happen in Illinois
If you've thought the struggle to get groceries, toilet paper, or baby formula was real, it could get even more real this Friday. FYI, by "more real" I mean a big, fat, supply chain crisis throughout the United States.
Freight Train Workers Are Threatening to Strike This Friday
NBC News reports;
Freight rail workers are threatening to strike for higher pay, more generous paid leave and a renegotiation of strict attendance policies and broader working conditions.
Don't get me wrong, I think freight rail workers have every right to get the pay and working conditions they deserve, but I REALLY hope an agreement will be reached soon, because a strike will cause astronomical problems.
How astronomical will the problems be you ask? Here's what Suzanne Clark, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told NBC News on Monday;
A national rail strike "would be an economic disaster — freezing the flow of goods, emptying shelves, shuttering workplaces and raising prices for families and businesses alike.
Do you get my point now? A strike would be VERY BAD for EVERYONE.
How a Freight Train Workers Strike Would Effect Illinois Specifically
If freight rail workers strike at the end of this week, a LOT of Illinois residents will have to rethink how they get to work and all of us will struggle to buy necessities.
The threat of the strike alone has already shut down three long-distance Amtrak routes, and if rail workers strike on Friday, many Metra routes will close as well, leaving thousands of daily train riders in Illinois with no way to get to work.
Just to be clear, Metra and Amtrak are NOT a part of this labor dispute, BUT many of their routes intersect with, run on, or are maintained by freight railroads. NBC 5 Chicago reports that 4 major Chicago-area Metra lines will be forced to close if the freight rail workers' strike proceeds.
What Is Being Done to Avoid Catastrophe?
While many industry insiders don't expect the situation to escalate to striking, NBC 5 Chicago reports a White House official told The Associated Press;
President Joe Biden and members of his Cabinet are in touch with both sides in hopes of preventing a strike, and that a number of trade groups representing railroad shippers are urging lawmakers to be prepared to block a strike.
Let's cross our fingers that an agreement is reached in less than 48 hours...or we better start stocking up on necessities right now!
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