We just avoided a major train wreck.
Rail is a crucial component of the U.S. logistics system, and a prolonged strike would lead to chaos. It would exacerbate ongoing supply chain challenges, put additional upward pressure on prices and, thus, do substantial economic harm. We rarely stop and think about how critical railroads are in knitting our complex economy together, but we came perilously close to a stark reminder.
Although a tentative agreement had been reached between the major railways and union representatives (with assistance from the Biden administration), it required ratification by members of 12 unions before going into effect. That didn’t happen, and a strike loomed large.
Fortunately, Congress has the power to force the issue, and it did. Under the new contract, workers will receive an additional paid day off and a 24% pay raise through 2024. There are also provisions related to health insurance…