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n Thursday the White House said it is in negotiations to attempt to avert a pending railroad strike which could close off supply lines across the nation, however thus far the President has not directly engaged on the matter.
Joe Biden declined to comment on the negotiations while speaking to reporters outside a fire station in Nantucket during a Thanksgiving holiday visit, noting his administration is in “the middle of negotiations.”
Biden said, “My team has been in touch with all the parties, and in (a) room with the parties and I have not directly engaged yet because they’re still talking.”
Over 300 groups have called for the White House to intervene in the matter, including the National Retail Federation and the National Association of Manufacturers, which noted that a strike will halt shipments of food and fuel across the nation, while costing the national economy billions of dollars.
Several of these groups reissued their calls earlier this week, demanding Biden and Congress intervene swiftly to avert a strike or employee lockout as the holiday season approaches.
A cessation of rail traffic would idle almost 30% of US cargo shipments by weight. That would supercharge inflation, and cut almost $2 billion per day from the American economy by hitting the U.S. energy, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and retail sectors.
The largest US rail union on Monday saw its workers vote down a tentative contract deal which had been reached in September, which has increased the likelihood of the rail unions calling a strike at the end of the year.
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