House averts rail strike

December 1, 2022
Railroad crossing with train in background

The Senate must now act urgently.

President Biden following the House’s 290-137 vote that approved a tentative agreement for railroad employees. The agreement must be passed by the Senate before December 9 to avert a potential rail strike.

Why It Matters: A tentative deal was reached in September outlining increased pay and improved working conditions for rail employees but has remained in limbo since. If contracts are not ratified by all rail unions or Congress does not use its power to impose legislation by December 9, rail employees plan to strike. A strike could cost the economy $2 billion per day and lead to shortages.

Important Context: Under the 1926 Railway Labor Act, Congress is able to resolve disputes between labor unions and railroads because the economy relies so heavily on rail. Congress has intervened 18 times since 1926; the last intervention was in 1992.

House approves tentative labor deal to avoid rail strike, sends to Senate (CNBC)

The House has voted to avert a rail strike. Now the bill heads to the Senate (NPR)

by Jenna Lee,