CATASTROPHE – Fate of the Rail Industry (and the Already Fragile U.S. Economy) in the Hands of Habitually Demagogic Administration and Lame Duck Congress

What could go wrong?

The tally is in and four unions have failed to accept the terms on the table. That is, four of the twelve unions that must accept the deal brokered a few months back by “President Ferret Face, three Cabinet secretaries from the most hollow credentialed room of buffoons that can be assembled from the modern progressive pipeline of woke characters, and an advisor for this economic juggernaut” or all twelve will strike.

Biggest U.S. rail union digs in on paid sick time, raising threat of strike

Train and engine service members of the transportation division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) narrowly voted to reject the deal. That unit, which includes conductors, brakemen and other workers, joins three other unions in rejecting a deal brokered via a board appointed by U.S. President Joe Biden. …

…There are no paid sick days under the tentative deal. Unions asked for 15 paid sick days and the railroads settled on one personal day. …

Railroads have slashed labor and other costs to bolster profits and are fiercely opposed to adding paid sick time that would require them to hire more staff. Those operators … say the contract deal has the most generous wage package in almost 50 years of national rail negotiations.

“The union needs to get this done in advance of the new Congress,” said Reliant Labor Consultants principal Joe Brock, a former Teamsters local president.

Republicans, who historically favor corporations over unions, earlier this month won control of the U.S. House starting in January.

I see a minimal improvement in sick pay, and huge pressure from the (Biden) administration to accept a deal,” Brock said. …

[Emphasis added]

Having successfully kicked the can of this important issue down the road (as only the cynical, spineless, and corrupt can do) the “leadership” in DC kept the consequences of the economic catastrophe – should it come to a strike – buried in the anti-narrative ether until the mid-term elections had past. Unfortunately, the path ahead necessitated by such strategery is bound to be rather messy:

With unions aligned, timeline for rail strike and railroad emergency prep is now clear

If no agreement is reached between the four unions and rail carriers during cooling-off periods, there could be a strike or a lockout unless Congress intervenes using its power through the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Under this clause, Congress would be able to introduce legislation to stop a strike or a lockout and to set terms of the agreements between the unions and the carriers.

[Emphasis added]

Well that’s just great. What could be worse that two bodies heavily loaded with fully corrupt morons wielding massive Constitutional powers to set critical labor agreement terms that most of them couldn’t even pretend comprehend…all on a very short schedule? Answer: Make them lame-duck bodies and put a habitually demagogic executive (and his merry puppeteers) at the bully pulpit during the process. As I hinted at in an earlier post on the subject, I don’t see either side reacting well to a heavy-handed “solution” lathered in politics and (as always) crafted to maximize the rivers of campaign cash back to beltway offices. I also wonder, as we are now firmly in the era of the Great Resignation, how the workers will respond to mandates handed down by those on both sides of the aisle more interested in their own insider trading portfolios. The “catastrophe” may not take the form most commonly imagined with a strike and full work stoppage…

Good luck.

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Earlier posts on the subject:

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