The White House made a show Tuesday of saying it was preparing contingencies should a labor strike force a shutdown of rail lines and plunge the nation into another supply chain crisis. What President Joe Biden’s administration has not emphasized is that Washington could prevent the crisis from happening in the first place. Congress has the power to simply force a settlement in the contract negotiations between the industry and the unions. Why not use it?
The apparent answer is that Biden, a union ally, would rather not urge Congress to do that because the unions are the holdouts in current contract talks. It is an ironic situation because Biden has been on the union’s side throughout the situation. The question now is how far “Blue Collar Joe” is willing to go for his union friends.
Back in July, Biden created the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), a panel of arbitrators to “investigate and report” on a possible breakdown in the talks after both sides refused voluntary arbitration. The administration did that with great fanfare to send the message that it was on top of the issue and trying to find a union-friendly resolution.
That was the message behind Tuesday’s announcements as well. “We have made crystal clear to the interested parties the harm that American families, businesses, and communities would experience, if they were not to reach a resolution,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. A strike could cost the nation $2 billion a day.
Read the full article at Inside Sources.