The U.S. Senate moved quickly yesterday to avert a rail strike that the Biden administration and business leaders warned would have had devastating consequences for the nation’s economy.
The Senate passed a bill to bind rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the rail companies and union leaders in September. That settlement had been rejected by some of the 12 unions involved, creating the possibility of a strike beginning December 9.
The Senate vote came one day after the House voted to impose the agreement. The measure now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
“I’m very glad that the two sides got together to avoid a shutdown, which would have been devastating for the American people, to the American economy and so many workers across the country,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters.
Schumer spoke as Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized to Democratic senators that rail companies would begin shutting down operations well before a potential strike would begin. The administration wanted the bill on Biden’s desk by the weekend.
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