U.S. prepares for possible railroad strikes

U.S. prepares for possible railroad strikes

President Joe Biden’s administration has drawn up contingency plans for the supply of critical goods in the event of a rail shutdown in the United States.

At the same time, it has demanded that the railroads and unions reach an agreement to avoid a shutdown that would affect freight and passenger traffic.

The potential shutdown, which could happen as early as Friday, could freeze nearly 30 percent of U.S. freight traffic, accelerate inflation, hamper food and fuel supplies, cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a day and cause transportation problems.

Railroad networks including Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern have until 00:01 Friday to reach tentative agreements with three unions representing about 60,000 workers.

If agreements are not reached, unions could go on strike and employers could keep employees off the job.