Warnings of a possible rail strike starting December 4th ramped up again as the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) voted against the National Tentative Agreement. This contract came together in September after the initial cooling-off period passed, and the Presidential Advisory Board (PEB) stepped in to expedite progress on a resolution. Reiterating our earlier warnings from September’s brinkmanship, a rail union strike could cost the US economy more than $2 billion per day and massively tangle an already convoluted supply chain.
BRS makes the second union to reject the current offer, which starts an official cooling-off period that gives both sides time to keep negotiating in good faith until December 3rd. Much like the situation in September, the sticking point is the amount of sick time and vacation time that workers can use, when it can be used, and whether there will be penalties for being out without advanced notice.
A rail strike during the holiday season will cause massive disruption as shippers who didn’t prepare contingency plans for the strike scramble to shift their cargo away from the rail and put renewed pressure on the over-the-road trucking capacity. Your representatives at Edward J. Zarach & Associates can help you navigate the situation starting today. By planning now for any hiccups in your supply chain, we can implement solutions to be deployed as the situation unfolds.
Your flexibility and patience will be the best weapons against the issues of capacity restrictions and a traffic jam of freight entering the market. Locking in plans early, being willing to adjust, and communicating often provides us with the tools to investigate our worldwide network of partners to find solutions that suit your cargo. In this situation, time will be short, and having a skilled, seasoned logistics partner in your corner can save you massive headaches if we do see rail disruption. Don’t let the most wonderful time of the year fall apart on your customers; contact your Zarach representative today for assistance.