October 27, 2022
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
RE: Administration Must Continue to Engage to Avoid a Rail Strike
Dear President Biden:
On behalf of the undersigned trade associations, we are writing to you today urging you to continue to work with the railroad unions and railroads to ensure that the tentative agreement that you helped broker is ratified by the parties. It is paramount that these contracts now be ratified, as a rail shutdown would have a significant impact on the U.S. economy and lead to further inflationary pressure.
We applaud your Administration for leading on this issue from the onset. With your help, from establishing the Presidential Emergency Board to involvement in the direct negotiations among the parties, the tentative agreement was reached on September 15. We have seen six of the twelve unions ratify the agreement to date.
Unfortunately, we have seen two unions reject the agreement and there are concerns that others may follow. If that were to be the case, we could witness a strike that would shut down the entire freight rail system. Because the White House played such a central role in the process, we believe it can be helpful in continuing to move the process forward in a positive direction. Otherwise, Congress will be called upon to act.
We continue to urge that the contracts be ratified to provide stability and predictability to the system. Your involvement can only help make that happen and ensure there is no interruption to rail service.
We thank you for your attention to this matter.
[Click here to view the signatures of 322 local, state and federal trade associations]