Port of Mobile ‘closely monitoring’ possible railroad worker strike

The Port of Alabama Authority is “closely monitoring” ongoing labor negotiations between major railroad companies and their employees across the country, according to a Port of Mobile spokeswoman.

A federally mandated “cooling off” period in labor negotiations between railroad companies and workers ends tomorrow at 11:01 p.m. CT.

Failure to reach an agreement by then would open the door to about 115,000 rail freight workers in unions to leave the job or companies to expel employees, it said United States today. This would likely spell another major shock to a U.S. supply chain still recovering from the pandemic.

“We hope that these negotiations will soon result in a resolution with minimal service disruption,” Maggie Oliver, a spokeswoman for Port of Mobile, told 1819 News. “While a nationwide rail failure would affect the port’s operations, it is difficult to estimate at this point to what extent operations could be affected. The port is committed to serving our customers and will work to minimize any potential impact.”

Port’s Terminal Railway (TASD) has successfully implemented their respective collective agreements. Potential implications for the Port of Alabama Authority would be related to disruptions to national service.

US Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) said in an interview with Alabama media today that “the unions need to sort this out” and that “we can’t run this country without trains,” he said [Biden] maybe have to step in and issue some kind of executive order.”

“It’s something that a lot of people … I don’t think they think about very much because it doesn’t concern them as we speak,” Tuberville outlined. “You have 12 different unions running the railroads in our country. President Biden has been assembling a group in recent months to help bridge differences. I trust him. Out of those 12 unions, I think ten unions are almost ready to agree to the terms laid down, but all must agree.”

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Tuberville said the consequences of a railroad workers’ strike would be “unfathomable”.

“If they go on strike… Here’s what’s going to happen: We’re going to lose $2 billion worth of supplies every day,” Tuberville said. “Our supply chain is already in trouble due to the pandemic. Shutting down the train system completely would cost our farmers in Alabama enormous sums of money. You can’t move gravel. You cannot move grain. Basically the stats I saw if they shut down the trains we would have to have 467,000 more trucks on the road every day which you can’t have. With what we have we cannot find the drivers now.”

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