Rail Strike Threat Returns as Union Rejects Compromise Contract
A division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters rejected the compromise brokered between over a dozen unions and the major rail operators on October 10. The rejection comes after the Biden Administration claimed a significant political victory following personal intervention by President Biden and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to avoid a potentially crippling rail strike.
The negotiation process is now controlled by federal law. The union is now in a negotiating period with the railroads until five days after Congress reconvenes, which is now scheduled for November 14 for the post-election lame duck session. This means a strike could not occur until November 19. We expect the White House to actively work to defuse this situation prior to that point. Congress can also enforce the compromise agreement via legislation, a move strongly contemplated prior to the September agreement that looked to end this situation.