Nov 30, 2022
Railroad unions decry Biden’s plan to block possible strike Transcript
President Joe Biden was in an unusual position after calling for Congress to move immediately to block a strike by more than thousands of members. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Again, railway workers are threatening to strike next week. It’s a move that could disrupt supply chains across the country.
Speaker 2 (00:07):
Later today, the House will take up legislation to force a rail contract deal despite objection from union members.
Matt Gregory, joining us live from Union Station now. Matt, good morning to you. Let’s start with this big question. We thought there was a deal already on the table. What happened?
Matt Gregory (00:23):
Yeah. Larry, back in September, you might recall the Biden administration announced they reached a tentative agreement with the railway workers unions. Now there are more than one union. In fact, there’s just about more than a dozen or so. Now, most of them accepted that tentative deal, but four of them this week said no deal. They didn’t like it. And so now the Biden administration has to call in Congress to get over another strike. Months after President Biden’s team brokered a labor agreement for railroad workers…
President Biden (00:50):
This agreement is a big win for America.
Matt Gregory (00:53):
… it’s back to square one. Four of the railroad worker unions rejected the Biden administration’s broker deal over the amount of sick leave, sending the potential for a strike back into the picture. If an agreement isn’t reached by next Friday, the potential impact could be $2 billion a day from supply chain disruptions.
Nancy Pelosi (01:10):
We must avoid a strike. Jobs will be lost. Even union jobs will be lost. Water will not be safe. Product will not be going to market.
Matt Gregory (01:21):
President Biden called in Congress to use its legal authority to avoid a strike. The House will take up a vote to ratify the current labor deal today. A spokesman for one of the rail workers unions says they’re disappointed with the President asking Congress to step in.
Speaker 7 (01:34):
I respectfully disagree with him and how he’s going about doing this because what he’s doing is taking away the members’ right to strike.
Matt Gregory (01:44):
Yeah. Now, so this has happened before. In fact, 18 times Congress has stepped in to avoid a railroad strike because it is one of the powers that Congress created years ago in order to avoid any sort of strike that would cripple the US economy. However, the House and the Senate both have to ratify the deal for it to go through. So that’s what we’ll be looking forward today and in the coming days to avoid that potential strike that could happen next Friday. At Union Station, I’m Matt Gregory. Back to you.