ILMA Newsroom

Tentative Deal Reached to Avoid Rail Strike

Tentative Deal Reached to Avoid Rail Strike

President Biden announced in a statement this morning that a tentative deal has been reached between the railroads and rail labor, averting a possible nationwide strike tomorrow and a shutdown of the nation’s freight rail system. The tentative deal, which affects more than 100,000 rail workers, must be ratified by the union memberships, who said that they would not strike in the interim. The parties agreed to a “cooling off” period to ensure that, if the ratification fails for any reason, there will not be an immediate freight rail shut down. 

“We are pleased to see the administration’s proactive approach to averting this potential blow to ILMA members’ already strained supply chains,” said ILMA CEO Holly Alfano. “ILMA will continue to work directly with the administration and Congress, as well as through the Rail Customer Coalition, to ensure our members can continue to supply essential products to the nation.”

ILMA wrote yesterday to congressional leaders, urging Congress to act if the railroads and their unions could not agree before the expiration this Friday of a 30-day moratorium that had forestalled a strike.

ILMA also wrote yesterday to the president, asking him to include lubricants in a priority list of commodities for transportation that his administration had been weighing if a strike occurred.

A freight rail strike could cost an estimated $2 billion a day. ILMA members have reported that the risk of a freight rail shutdown already has disrupted shipments of their raw materials and finished products.