Rail strike averted as sides reach tentative agreement

A looming railroad strike that would have impacted the movement of agricultural products will be avoided.

Mike Steenhoek with the Soy Transportation Coalition tells Brownfield a tentative agreement has been reached between the committee representing the nation’s leading railroads and the last remaining unions that were holding out.

“What it does is that it averts this strike that would’ve commenced, or could’ve commenced, at 12:01 Eastern Time on Friday, so less than 24 hours away. And that’s really good news.”

He says while union officials will need to ratify the agreement over the next several weeks, rail service will continue at a time when the supply chain needs to be firing on all cylinders.

“To be able to accommodate what farmers are producing, and what frankly the U.S. economy is producing and needs. So very good news for the economy (and) very good news for America’s farmers.”

The tentative agreement will provide rail employees a 24 percent wage increase as recommended by the Presidential Emergency Board.

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