Biden says deal averting railroad strike averted 'real economic crisis'

Biden says deal averting railroad strike averted ‘real economic crisis’

President Biden said the deal between the railroads and union negotiators reached early Thursday morning averted a “real economic crisis”.

The agreement between the two parties came just before the Friday morning deadline to avoid a freight railway strike.

“The alternative just wasn’t on the table,” Biden said. “If, in fact, they had gone on strike, the supply chains in this country would have come to a screeching halt. We would have seen a real economic crisis.”

Biden made the comments during an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which is set to air on Sunday.


President Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, Thursday, September 15, 2022. (Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The agreement reached early Thursday morning offers railroad workers a 24% wage increase over a five-year period from 2020 to 2024, as well as an average immediate payout of $11,000 upon ratification, according to the Association of American Railroads. The group said the agreement was provisional and subject to ratification by union members.

Biden said in the interview that the two sides were able to reach a deal that is “fair” to both.

“One of the things that happens in negotiations, especially if they’ve dragged on like this, is that people say and do things where pride also gets involved. And it’s extremely difficult to give up some of those things. So what we did was just say, ‘Look, let’s look. Let’s see what happens.” You do a lot for the job. Their income is going to increase 24% over the next five years. They worked on the health side, they worked on the days off. two sat down, in my opinion, and they were in the office today saying, “Well, we finally figured it out. It’s just both sides. “And it took that time to focus,” Biden said.

US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said after the tentative agreement was reached that the two sides negotiated for more than 20 straight hours at the US Department of Labor.


President Biden delivers a speech in Philadelphia on September 1, 2022

President Biden speaks outside Independence Hall, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci/AP Newsroom)

“After more than 20 straight hours of negotiations, the railroads and union negotiators have reached a tentative agreement that balances the needs of our nation’s workers, businesses and economy,” Walsh said. “The Biden administration applauds all parties for reaching this hard-fought and mutually beneficial agreement. Our rail system is an integral part of our supply chain, and disruption would have had catastrophic effects on industries, travelers and families. Across the country.”

A railroad strike would have had far-reaching effects on the US economy, with the American Association of Railroads estimating that a work stoppage could cost more than $2 billion a day in lost economic output.

Amtrak announced on Wednesday as a precaution that it would cancel all long-distance trains from Thursday, saying it would only operate trains with enough time to reach their destination before a possible lockdown begins after midnight. Friday.


Biden speaking at the White House

President Joe Biden speaks about the Cut Inflation Act of 2022 during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, September 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik/AP Newsroom)

On Thursday, Amtrak said it would operate a full schedule on Friday following the tentative agreement.

Ernie Sadashige, Jacqui Heinrich, Daniella Genovese and Ken Martin of FOX Business contributed to this report.

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