Congress votes in favor of a measure that forces rail unions to goal catch a contract
Congress voted in favor of a measure that forces rail unions to goal catch a contract negotiated in September and makes a rail employee strike illegal.
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
With a railway employee strike threatening, the Residence made an irregular pass at the present time. Lawmakers voted in favor of a measure that forces railroad union employees to goal catch a contract negotiated serve in September. They moreover passed a separate measure to make seven days paid in wretched health leave. Each measures now mosey to the Senate. And all this comes after President Biden called on Congress to intervene to end a strike in December.
NPR’s Ximena Bustillo is right here with the most up-to-date. Howdy there.
XIMENA BUSTILLO, BYLINE: Howdy.
KELLY: Howdy. So this has been very controversial – President Biden wading into the fray, urging Congress to intervene. What took space?
BUSTILLO: Properly, for weeks, the Biden administration used to be truly urging employees and management to care for Congress out of it. And in yelp to enact that, they’d must return to a decision over one of many key sticking system – in wretched health leave. But earlier this week, Biden stated he and varied people of his Cabinet believed that there used to be no chance of a decision at the bargaining table. And he wants a bill by Saturday.
KELLY: Lawful. And he notion there used to be no chance because no longer the entire unions had been in favor of the settlement, magnificent?
BUSTILLO: That’s magnificent. You gape, 12 unions must vote to approve, and 4 of them rejected it. So despite the indisputable truth that most catch it, if precise one strikes, all of them enact. And the earliest that they’ll strike is December 9.
KELLY: Lay out the stakes. What does it possibility if we enact gape a strike?
BUSTILLO: Properly, railroad carriers, stores and varied stakeholders are elevating the fright that the economy and present chains would be severely upended. Even though a strike is peaceful 9 days out, carriers are warning that transportation of some products would perchance well sluggish down as soon as this weekend. Right here’s Corey Rosenbusch, president of The Fertilizer Institute, discussing their contingency idea.
COREY ROSENBUSCH: For us, a strike successfully begins this weekend. Rail carriers, , bear already notified that ammonia shipments will can bear to be pulled off of the community starting about five days forward of, which would perchance well well be December 4. So a lot of the fertilizer companies are already getting ready for that actuality starting about five days forward of any dependable strike begins.
BUSTILLO: Railroads tackle the transportation of up to 40% of all goods, however they capture on the lion’s piece of products adore ethanol, fertilizer and grains. And this vogue that any strike would perchance well accomplish broad ripple outcomes on offer chains. And the quit consequence of right here’s shortages and elevated prices for customers on on a regular foundation items adore gas and meals.
KELLY: All eyes flip to the Senate now. How quickly would perchance well they act?
BUSTILLO: Properly, there are racy dynamics at play in the Senate. Some Republicans and even progressives are no longer willing to enhance precise one bill that forces the contract settlement, however they’re inclined to enhance it if it comes with a bill to make seven days of in wretched health leave. Right here’s Missouri GOP Senator Josh Hawley.
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JOSH HAWLEY: Properly, the in wretched health leave is a special inquire of. I specialise in that is what the staff order is terribly vital to them, and I’d increase that. Now, if that gets connected and the staff are OK with that, I specialise in that is a special inquire of. But I enact no longer increase the underlying settlement that the administration wants to force on the staff, and I frankly specialise in it be handsome unprecedented that they are searching for to – they, the administration, is searching for to make utilize of Congress to force on these employees something they’ve stated no to.
BUSTILLO: Hawley isn’t any longer by myself. Senator Marco Rubio stated that he’ll no longer increase a contract that isn’t any longer backed by employees, and progressives are in accordance with this thinking. Senator Bernie Sanders stated that he’s cautiously optimistic that the 2 groups can attach collectively a bipartisan coalition to enhance both bills. But Hawley is extra skeptical. When talking to me, he stated that he believes he’s likely in the minority of his event.
KELLY: And precise in a brief sentence or two, where does all this leave the president?
BUSTILLO: Properly, it be a tricky tablet for the president to swallow, including varied people of his Cabinet that are truly stable union leaders and union supporters. However the administration at the present time stated that they desire a bill passed by Saturday, and therefore, they don’t increase amendments that would perchance well prolong that. And they also don’t bellow in regards to the Senate has 60 votes to mosey the in wretched health leave.
KELLY: NPR’s Ximena Bustillo. Thank you.
BUSTILLO: Thank you.
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