Labor agreement negotiations between the railroad companies and their workers appear to be breaking down again. Four of the 12 unions representing rail workers recently voted against certification of a tentative new contract.
Unions and railroads have until Dec. 9 to resolve differences. If they do not, a strike could ensue.
With less than two weeks until the deadline, President Biden on Monday called upon Congress to take action, and, according to PBS.org, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said lawmakers will take up legislation to enforce the deal that unions agreed to in September.
NPCA supports this action and, along with fellow North American Concrete Alliance associations, we encourage our members to implore Congress and the president to take immediate action to avoid a freight railroad labor strike. The consequences of a freight rail work stoppage would be far-reaching, affecting supply chains and potentially costing $2 billion a day in lost economic output.
NCMA and NACA have provided a letter below that can be copied and sent to express your support for action. Use the links below to find your lawmakers or send it directly to President Biden.
Letter Subject Line: I Urge You to Take Immediate Action to Avoid a Railroad Labor Strike
Dear [Representative NAME / Senator NAME / President Biden],
As a member of the cement and concrete industry, we urge you to take immediate action to avoid a freight railroad labor strike and prevent the catastrophic damage a strike would cause to the U.S. economy. The potential consequences are far-reaching, impacting cement production and supply chains as well as potentially costing $2 billion a day in lost economic output.
With several rail unions voting against the tentative contract agreement reached in September, it is vital that you take prompt action to prevent a freight rail stoppage of any length.
Cement is the basic ingredient and bonding agent in concrete, binding aggregates and additives when mixed with water. Cement and concrete are essential construction materials and fundamental components of our nation’s infrastructure, including transportation, water systems, sewer systems, dams, commercial buildings, residential buildings and single-family homes.
The cement and concrete industries depend on an efficient, reliable and affordable rail transportation network. The majority of aggregate and cement shipped in the United States is transported by rail, and the cement and concrete industry relies on the freight rail for deliveries to our plants to manufacture cement and concrete. A rail strike will cause significant damage to cement manufacturers and their customers in the concrete industry.
Again, I urge you to take prompt action to prevent a rail strike that would thwart the efficient movement of goods to market and be detrimental to the U.S. economy. We appreciate your attention to this serious issue.