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The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen’s union has voted against the National Tentative Agreement, becoming the second union to say no to the contract proposed in September after a lengthy negotiation that required the Presidential Advisory Board to step in and urge both sides to come together. Unfortunately, despite that intervention, the issues regarding sick time, vacation time, and bereavement time are still driving the 11,000-member union to have a record turnout, with 60% saying no. 


The first union to reject the offer was the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWED) on October 10th, which started the clock for a possible strike as early as November 19th, December 4th if BRS initiates the strike, or any time between, after, and up to a signed contract. Despite the rumblings of the possibility of a strike and the concern that everyone has for dealing with it, most analysts figure a solution is possible and likely on the horizon. 


Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz told CNBC, “I am confident we will find a way to craft an agreement that can be taken back out for ratification. That doesn’t mean a strike is not possible, it just means in my opinion I don’t think it’s probable. We’ve got plenty of runway to figure it out.” 


If that’s true, then rail shipments won’t be the problem plaguing the supply chain. If the strike happens, it could cost the U.S. economy $2 billion per day, and people will need plans to navigate the disruption. 


Investing in an experienced logistics provider to help you plan for rail congestion gives your cargo access to a worldwide network of experts. After almost eight decades in service to our clients, Coppersmith has guided clients through strikes of many sorts, and our experts are ready to help you plan for domestic trucking for your rail cargo. 


Whether you need transloading options for container shipments, distribution for e-commerce, or over-the-road plans, Coppersmith is ready to keep your cargo moving.

Bud Coppersmith

Author Bud Coppersmith

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