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Rail companies and rail worker unions reach a deal averting a strike

Container freight train
teppakorn tongboonto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Getty Images/iStockphoto
Freight Train

Early Thursday morning it was announced that a tentative agreement between the rail companies and the unions has been reached.

One day before rail workers were ready to go on strike, their unions and rail companies have reached a deal after a 20-hour negotiation.

Part of the deal includes a 24% pay increase over five years and a 14% increase effective immediately.

It also includes changes to the workplace involving work rules and scheduling issues.

A strike could have shut down all rail traffic costing the country’s economy 2 billion dollars a day according to the Association of American Railroads.

SIU Associate Professor of Management Greg DeYong says a strike would be detrimental to the supply chain.

“Probably the bigger thing that we might not have seen would have been all the raw materials and all the products that move the rail, because so much stuff actually gets moved here, rail. And we just don't see it because it doesn't the train doesn't pull up and deliver the products to us. It doesn't even go to the store, but it carries it for a lot of its distance, so it would have been a really big disruption.”

DeYong is developing Supply Chain Management and Logistics Center in the College of Business.