Industry Updates: Railroad Strike on Watch for September 16, 2022

Industry Updates: Railroad Strike on Watch for September 16, 2022

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A potential railroad strike is on the horizon for Friday, September 16 at 00:01 ET, as negotiations have been ongoing between two rail unions, the Conductors Union (SMART-TD) and the Brotherhood Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). Represented by the National Railway Labor Conference and Federal mediators working this past week to avert a strike, the two unions represent 57,000+ engineers, conductors and employees.

Industry Update: Thursday 9/15 9:30 ET

Early this morning, The White House announced it had brokered a tentative agreement between U.S. railroads and unions, averting the strike planned for tomorrow, September 16. The tentative National Agreement includes wage increases, bonuses and no increases to insurance copays and deductibles.

The rail unions will now begin submitting the tentative agreement to the rank and file for a ratification vote by the memberships of both unions. 

Industry Update: Wednesday 9/14 15:30 ET

The rail machinists and mechanics rejected the tentative agreement, leaving 8 out of the 12 unions pending with agreements. The rejection at this late stage may push a higher probability that a strike will take place.

Negotiations continue during the ‘cooling off’ period, which ends September 16, 2022 at 00:01 ET. Our rail vendors continue to prepare for a potential shut down, though remain hopeful that any impact to rail transport can be avoided. It can still be expected that additional embargoes could go into place sometime today, as railroads need 48 hours to wind down service without leaving containers and other assets stranded.

The table below outlines the cargo or rails impacted as of September 14, 2022. Please note that this table will continue to be updated periodically.

Industry Update: Tuesday 9/13 17:00 ET

Out of the dozen Class 1 railroad unions, the majority have tentative agreements and have advised they will honor the strike should the others not reach an agreement before the deadline. 

Currently, the major ocean carriers have not announced any contingency plans. However, it has been advised that many may take a wait-and-see approach until the rail announces further action. One update of note: Crowley Maritime has announced the suspension of cargo starting today and tomorrow on multiple inland points.

Industry Update: Tuesday 9/13 12:00 ET

The U.S. administration prevented a strike two months ago by imposing a cooling-off period and appointing a panel called the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to evaluate the issues and identify a recommended settlement. The administration continues to mediate between the two sides to avert strike action; however, rail operators are making contingency plans should workers walk off the job.

This is a fluid situation with more information forthcoming. With a few days until a potential service interruption, carriers are obligated to take appropriate actions to prepare. Only Congress can act to prevent a work stoppage by imposing a deal on the two sides or extending the current cooling-off period.
Ascent’s dedicated, nimble team is here to ensure that the transload of your shipments is secured amidst these disruptions. Please feel free to contact our team if you have any questions.


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