07.14.22

Burr, Wicker Call on President Biden to Prevent Rail Strike, Avoid Further Supply Chain Crisis

Senators: “Our nation cannot afford another failure when it comes to keeping inflation in check and maintaining our supply chains”

Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to appoint an impartial and qualified Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to facilitate a fair resolution between the railroad carriers and unions, avoiding a potential strike as early as Monday, July 18, 2022.

In their letter, the Senators stressed that an unresolved outcome between railroad carriers and unions would place additional strain on existing supply chain problems, particularly as inflation hits another 40-year high of 9.1 percent. 

“Our nation cannot afford another failure when it comes to keeping inflation in check and maintaining our supply chains,” the Senators write. “We are concerned this is the first step on the way to a union strike as labor seeks to leverage the fragile state of our economy.”

The Senators continue, “Fortunately, you can avoid this calamity by appointing a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) under the Railway Labor Act.  You alone have the power to establish an impartial, qualified PEB that can facilitate a fair resolution between the railroads and unions. It is vital that you do so.”

“A railroad strike would only serve to increase the pain to Americans’ wallets and welfare.”

“As the self-stated ‘most pro-union president leading the most pro-union administration in American history,’ it’s clear the unions are taking their cues from you,” the Senators conclude. “It is time for you to step in, as with the longshore labor negotiations on the West Coast, and establish the expectation that the parties to the rail labor negotiations will bargain fairly and refrain from threatening our strained supply chain for personal gain.”

To read the full letter, click here.