The House today voted today on a resolution aimed at averting an impending strike by freight rail workers on December 9 – over a week away. CEI labor policy expert Sean Higgins says lawmakers should instead wait and give the private sector negotiators a chance to resolve their differences:
“The House lawmakers’ vote today to avert a potential railworkers strike was premature. Contract negotiations between the unions and the industry were ongoing with the drop-dead deadline still a week off. While the threat to the economy posed by a rail strike was real, lawmakers should have at least waited until workers officially walked off rather than short-circuiting the talks. Most deals are, after all, made at the 11th hour.
“Government intervention in the private sector, especially when forcing a contract on parties, should always be a last resort. Today’s action merely lays the groundwork for more extensive interventions in the future.”