Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The White House's 'Contingency Plan' for a Rail Strike Doesn't Sound Like a Plan

 In Tuesday's White House press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre failed to provide much reassurance for American citizens or businesses eyeing the looming threat of a rail worker strike that is shaping up to be something of a repeat of the Biden administration's previous mismanagement of U.S. port backlogs and infant formula shortages. 

...So what does the White House have to say about the situation? Well, according to Biden's press secretary, they're working on it, and have been for months, and the most they have to show is a contingency plan that Jean-Pierre mentioned without any concrete details.

... "The president has been involved in this," Jean-Pierre continued — as if that's supposed to be reassuring — and the cabinet secretaries have been involved since the early days of this effort" that she said date back to earlier this spring. 

...Offering limited details, Jean-Pierre said that the White House is "working with other modes of transportation including the shippers and truckers, air freight, to see how they can step in and keep goods moving in case of this rail shutdown."

...Really? The White House's plan to prevent another supply chain and economic crisis is just taking everything that's transported by rail — some 1.7 billion tons across nearly 140,000-miles of track annually — and put it on boats, planes, and 18-wheelers?...MORE

The Washington Post pretty well sums it up for Biden:

The stalemate pits two of Biden’s top priorities against each other. The president has been an adamant defender of union workers, but does not want a breakdown in the nation’s transportation infrastructure that would disrupt commuter and passenger services.
 Ten of the 12 unions have reached an agreement with the railroads but will strike in support of the two unions which have not - the engineers and the conductors. What are the issues? The two unions don't like the recommendation's of Biden's Emergency Board. They "are angry the recommendations don’t address a lack of sick days or attendance policies that penalize workers."

We could have a national strike over sick leave and annual leave.
I don't think we will see this happen.
Biden just announced (9/15) that a compromise has been reached.

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