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Biden Begs Congress to Help Halt Pre-Christmas Rail Strike

Biden Begs Congress to Help Halt Pre-Christmas Rail Strike

Sec. of Transportation Buttigieg: “We don’t have enough trucks or barges or ships in this country to make up for the rail network.”

The last time we checked on the trajectory of the looming rail strike, four freight rail unions, with a combined membership of close to 60,000 rail workers, had voted down the five-year contract agreement brokered by the Biden administration back in September.

Now Biden is begging Congress for its help in halting the strike, which is slated to begin Dec. 9, amid the Christmas shopping season.

“I am calling on Congress to pass legislation immediately to adopt the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators – without any modifications or delay – to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown,” the president said in a statement, adding that his administration believes “there is no path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table.”

The deal Biden wants to force upon 12 unions representing rail workers was tentatively agreed to in September, following a 20-hour negotiating session.

Soon-to-be former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi indicated that lawmakers now plan to intervene. The move may not go down well with some union-centric Democrats.

Ms. Pelosi said in a statement soon afterward that “this week, the House will take up a bill adopting the tentative agreement — with no poison pills or changes to the negotiated terms — and send it to the Senate.”

It is less clear what will happen in the Senate, where Democrats have 50 seats in the 100-member chamber and most bills require Republican support to pass. The deadline for action is in early December, when several of the labor unions plan to go on strike if an agreement is not reached.

In urging Congress to impose a solution on the dispute, Mr. Biden picked an aggressive stance that could pit him and his Democratic allies against the wishes of rank-and-file union members, who have long been frustrated with treatment by the rail companies.

Given the success rate of the Biden administration, tech firms supplying critical semiconductor chips have started shifting cargo shipments from railroads to trucks.

The moves are being made, DHL Global Forwarding tells CNBC, in an effort to avoid any pre-strike rail preparations that would force freight rail companies to prioritize cargo.

The tech cargo being sent to trucks include semiconductor chips critical to the high-tech sector and auto industry.

“This is tech cargo originating out of California,” said Goetz Alebrand, head of ocean freight for the Americas at DHL Global Forwarding. Alebrand said there is now more truck capacity than there had been when a rail strike was first threatened in September as a result of fewer containers ships overall coming in to U.S. ports.

“There are more trucks and chassis, but that does not mean there are enough trucks to move all rail cargo onto trucks,” Alebrand said.

However, trucks need fuel. And gas station owners warned the strike good impact gas and diesel supplies.

Earlier Monday, two associations representing gas station owners warned Monday that a freight rail shutdown, which could happen as soon as Dec. 9, could jeopardize their ability to keep fuel in stock across the country.

“If a work stoppage were to occur, it would immediately disrupt fuel marketers’ ability to ensure a reliable and stable supply of fuel for U.S. consumers and for the nation’s commercial fleets,” said Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, a spokesperson for NATSO, which represents travel plaza and truckstop owners.

Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent the railroad workers a strongly worded message during an interview with Leeland Vittert of NewsNation that the Biden administration will not support a freight rail union strike ahead of the holiday season.

….BUTTIGIEG: Well, look, our goal right now is to make sure that doesn’t happen.

And we’re urging the parties to get to the table and to do whatever it takes to prevent a shutdown. A shutdown is a scenario that is not acceptable. We got through the worst of the days in terms of the shipping backlogs. We’ve made headway on trucking. But if we don’t have a healthy, functioning strong rail system.

VITTERT: Can the American economy deal with it if it happens?

BUTTIGIEG: It would not be good.

VITTERT: Catastrophic?

BUTTIGIEG: We don’t have enough trucks or barges or ships in this country to make up for the rail network.


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Is anyone really so low IQ they can’t see the smoke and mirrors here? Since WWII every railroad strike has had a court order stopping it the second it starts. This is to keep you busy while they stab you with something else.

Colonel Travis | November 29, 2022 at 3:27 pm

This is odd. Biden’s plan was rejected. Now he asks a (D) controlled Congress to do what? Come up with something equally as stupid?

Gee, I wonder why I get the impression that these people do not care about the damage they do to America.

    No, he’s asking Congress to legislate the contract that the union members rejected. Make it a law, so they have no choice.

      Colonel Travis in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 5:19 pm

      I know what he’s asking.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 5:25 pm

      What, can’t he do it all by himself, with his phone and his pen, like he does everything else? Let it flow through you, Brandon, ya big phony. Feel the full power of the Dark Side.

      Paula in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 5:57 pm

      That cannot be possible. Two months ago Biden congratulated himself on a deal he brokered. “This is a big deal,” he said. “They earned and deserve these benefits. And this is a great deal for both sides. It feels good… they should be home in bed.”

      So they went home and went to bed. Got up and went to the polls. Now we hear it ain’t so. The union members rejected it. And now we’re told Biden is asking Congress to legislate the contract that the union members rejected

The rail strike that you took a victory lap bragging about stopping?

That rail strike, you lying decrepit demented jackass?

    Paula in reply to Olinser. | November 29, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    That was in the Rose Garden. Before the election. But now, well, it’s down the memory hole.

    CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | November 29, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    The President has the power to intervene via the courts to ask for a cooling off period. That would PO the Unions so instead the admin is trying to punt this to Congress, a lame duck Congress at that. How about no?

    Tell the admin to pound sand until they seek to use the power they already possess.

      I think we are already in a cooling off period which ends on Dec. 8, and if the rules for that were followed there is no provision for further court intervention other than that a judge just wants to do it.

        CommoChief in reply to Rabel. | November 30, 2022 at 8:35 am

        Under the Taft Hartley Act the POTUS can seek a cooling off period via going to CT and asking for an injuction of up to 80 days. It’s really pro forma and the CT basically rubber stamps it when the request is, as in this case, within the bounds of the Act.

        The current period was mutually agreed to by the parties and the invocation of Presidential authority under Taft Hartley. So that option still exists.

        Biden doesn’t want to use it because Taft Hartley is viewed by unions as a ‘strike breaking’ action. The left and union allies would very likely condemn the WH for using it.

          gospace in reply to CommoChief. | November 30, 2022 at 10:44 am

          There’s already been the cooling off period ordered- and it’s expiring. I don;t think there’s a provision for extending it or ordering a second one. The companies- and Biden- want Congress to impose the contract the workers voted down. The workers naively believed that with Biden in office- the Democrats, the party of the “working people” after all, would impose the contract the workers want. They can now see how well that worked.

          Congress has had the enitire cooling off period to contempate a potential contract with compromises. They kicked the can down the road, and it just popped up again.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | November 30, 2022 at 8:46 pm


          The cooling off period coming to an end was agreed to by the parties. It has jack and squat to do with POTUS invoking the Taft Hartley Act provisions.

          In sum if the current cooling off period ends a they threaten a strike Biden still has authority to go to CT and force up to an 80 day cooling off period. That’s a one shot deal and Biden hasn’t done it so that arrow is in his quiver.

          More simply since folks keep saying the same incorrect things.

          Biden can still, on his own, without any further grant of authority from Congress, go to CT and be granted up to an 80 day injuction preventing the strike.

          IMO, until Biden is willing to fire off that arrow Congress should vote no on this BS bill to bail out Biden and save him from the consequences of his failures and lies.

    MattMusson in reply to Olinser. | November 29, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    The victory lap was before the MidTerms.

A rail strike would give the FJoe Biden Admin (Hidden Junta) the perfect excuse as to why the economy tanked. Is this just theater and the play is already written?

It’s okay, folks. The Secretary of Transportation is a homosexual, so everything will be fine.

    paracelsus in reply to Jack Klompus. | November 29, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    Hey! He’s just asking all the rest of us to bend over and enjoy it.

    What happened to the beautiful rail agreement Joe Biden celebrated in the Rose Garden?

    Same thing that happend to the beautiful Vera Bradley luggage Sam Brinton spotted at the airport.

    Gone baby gone.

    Recharacterize that: the Secretary of Transportation is a WOKE homosexual, and a dumb one at that.

    Then there are these fine gentlemen:

    Log Cabin Republicans is the nation’s original and largest organization representing LGBT conservatives and straight allies who support fairness, freedom, and equality for all Americans. Log Cabin Republicans has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time staff in Washington, DC, a federal political action committee, and state political action committees:

I am not a supporter of unions, particularly public government workers, however I do not support taxpayer subsidies even more! Our POS president should order the cooling off period and allow them to work out their own problems! Yes, this will be difficult as the over the road truckers have no diesel fuel to move products for American consumers due to the idiocy demented Biden. Open up the refineries, oil drilling, and allow the pipeline from Canada to move forward. Even an idiot of low IQ can figure that out!

“Tentative Agreement”? between who? Not the workers and the companies for sure.

    Milhouse in reply to geronl. | November 29, 2022 at 5:12 pm

    The unions and the companies. The unions agreed to it, and submitted it to their members, who rejected it. Now Biden wants Congress to pass it as a law.

      gonzotx in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 6:08 pm

      Why have a union if you can’t use your benefits or strike?

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 7:01 pm

      The issue is really between the union bosses and the rank and file. I still think the bosses are working for Biden Admin (whoever they are).

      Paula in reply to Milhouse. | November 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm

      When should the president hold a news conference to announce an agreement has been reached:

      1. Before the agreement is submitted to the members?
      2. After it has been submitted and agreed to by the members?

      What was the president celebrating? A tentative agreement?

Buttigieg to railroad unions: “You can’t strike!” Unions to Buttigieg: “Whatcha gonna do about it, chest-feeder?”

More bitter fruits of the anti-Midas President. Everything under the Sun that the dotard-marionette (or, his Dumb-o-crat lackeys) touch, predictably turns to excrement.

Biden’s inflation, which wages aren’t keeping up with, is the cause of the strike. Any “fix” Congress can come up with will probably make inflation even worse.

    randian in reply to Socratease. | November 30, 2022 at 12:10 am

    Inflation isn’t the cause of this strike, the worldwide shipping crash and petroleum shortage orchestrated by our leaders is. That created conditions favorable for a strike to threaten the entire nation, and the union’s members couldn’t resist using the leverage that gives them.

    Don’t forget that after these unions get the monstrous compensation increases they’re asking for that will be priced into everything we buy.

gonna be a long winter. my heating oil and LPG come to state by rail.

BierceAmbrose | December 1, 2022 at 2:54 pm

There is not good answer. That’s why he’s trying to punt. Make them own it:

“What, precisely, is the administration (and the party in power) asking us to do?”

“The R majority in the House stands ready to address Rail legislation the President and party submit. We’ll schedule consideration immediately. No point in us proposing anything — they still have control of the Senate and Presidency. They have to agree for anything to be done.”