Beginning Thursday, all Amtrak long-distance trains will be shut down ahead of an impending rail worker strike that could severely damage the already struggling US economy.
Railroad carriers and two major worker unions have been in negotiation for improved benefits and sick days in their new contract. They have until Friday to make a deal, or the unions will go on strike – marking the first national rail strike in 30 years.
While Amtrak itself is not involved in the union negotiations, almost all 21,000 miles of track used by their trains are owned, maintained, and controlled by freight railroads. Therefore, in the event of a strike, Amtrak’s intercity passenger rail service would be significantly impacted.
“Amtrak will only operate trains this week that we can ensure will have enough time to reach their final destinations by 12:01 am on Friday, Sept. 16,” said an Amtrak spokesperson on Wednesday.
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With the looming threat of a railroad shutdown, the Biden regime is hurrying to help a deal get made so the economy is not crippled any worse than it already is, particularly ahead of the November elections, which could hurt the Democrats at a crucial time.
White House officials are reportedly holding emergency meetings to try and broker a deal between the two parties.
The US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark warned on Monday that a strike would result in “catastrophic economic impacts.”
She said, “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, but that is exactly what is likely to happen in less than four days.”
“If action is not taken, the nation’s rail service will come to a halt, the negative impacts of which cannot be understated,” she added.
The US Chamber of Commerce also wrote a letter warning that the economy could lose $2 billion each day if the strike is carried out.
This rail strike could have major implications for the auto industry, the agricultural industry, the energy sector, the retail industry, and many more crucial parts of the US economy, leading to heightened costs and product delays for both individuals and businesses.