“The tentative agreement reached tonight is an important win for our economy and the American people,” said President Joe Biden.
President Joe Biden said Thursday that the White House has reached an agreement with union representatives and railway workers to prevent a crippling strike slated to begin later this week.
Biden said the deal, reached after weeks of negotiations and a marathon session in Washington last night, includes pay increases, improved working conditions and ‘peace of mind’ with respect to healthcare benefits. The President said it was an “important win for our economy and the American people”.
The Biden Administration had been facing a midnight Friday deadline to broker an agreement between railway operators and unions representing around 60,000 members amid a long-running dispute over working conditions, wages and employee safety.
The strike, had it gone into effect, could have cost the U.S. economy around $2 billion a day, shutdown around 30% of the country’s freight traffic, disrupted passenger rail networks and added to inflationary pressures by delaying the delivery of key energy, food and consumer goods.
“I thank the unions and rail companies for negotiating in good faith and reaching a tentative agreement that will keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruption of our economy,” the President said. “For the American people, the hard work done to reach this tentative agreement means that our economy can avert the significant damage any shutdown would have brought.”
“With unemployment still near record lows and signs of progress in lowering costs, tonight’s agreement allows us to continue to fight for long term economic growth that finally works for working families,” the statement added.
CSX Corp shares were marked 2.5% higher in pre-market trading immediately following news of the tentative agreement to indicate an opening bell price of $31.99 each.
Union Pacific shares, meanwhile, surged 4.75% to $228.29 each.
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