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Biden Says Rail Deal With Unions Avoided ‘Real Economic Crisis’


Biden Says Rail Deal With Unions Avoided ‘Real Economic Crisis’ By Bloomberg

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Economy 4 minutes ago (Sep 16, 2022 14:56)

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(Bloomberg) — President Joe Biden said the tentative deal he helped forge between railroads and labor prevented devastating the US economy when it’s already struggling with high inflation and supply-chain constraints. 

“If, in fact, they’d gone on a strike, the supply chains in this country would’ve come to a screeching halt. We would’ve seen a real economic crisis,” he said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” set to air on Sunday.

Biden called the agreement “fair for both sides.” His comments suggest he is confident the holdout unions will ratify the deal, forged just hours before a strike would have halted rail traffic around the country. 

Union members still must vote to accept the deal and there’s no guarantee they will. The White House said the tentative agreement extends the “cooling off” period — during which unions may not strike — to ensure that a rejection wouldn’t immediately trigger a work stoppage. 

Late Wednesday, Biden personally intervened in the talks, stressing the widespread economic damage that would result from a strike. 

Union advocates and officials familiar with the president’s call to negotiators said that Biden’s involvement was pivotal in getting both sides to agree, with one saying it was unclear how negotiations would go at the time Biden called.

A work stoppage would have snarled supply chains and fueled red-hot inflation, while putting Democrats at greater risk of losing control of Congress in the November midterms. Instead, the president is coming away with a deal that could prove to be a validation of his negotiating skills. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Biden Says Rail Deal With Unions Avoided ‘Real Economic Crisis’

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