Will The Trains Still Run (On Time Or Not)?

As if there were not enough things wrong with the US economy, as early as next Monday a new threat could emerge: a national rail strike.

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.

Railroad employees have been working without a raise since before the pandemic, yet the unions and the railroads have yet to come to terms on a new contract.

Just how important are the railroads to the nation’s economy? We may soon find out.