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Negotiators reach ‘tentative’ deal to avert US freight rail strike

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NEW YORK, US - A view of a train platform as negotiators have reached a "tentative" deal after US freight rail strike in New York, United States on September 15, 2022. (Lokman Vural Elibol - Anadolu Agency)
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Sep 16, 2022 - 02:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – Negotiators have reached a “tentative” deal to avert a potential freight rail strike that could result in a multi-billion dollar blow to the American economy, President Joe Biden announced Thursday.

Biden said the agreement, which could avert a $2 billion per day blow to the economy, is “an important win for our economy and the American people.”

“It is a win for tens of thousands of rail workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that America’s families and communities got deliveries of what have kept us going during these difficult years,” he said in a statement.

Talks mediated by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh had been trying to reach compromise between rail companies and union negotiators for 20 consecutive hours before the deal was reached, according to the Labor Department.

“Secretary Walsh and the Biden Administration applauds all parties for reaching this hard-fought, mutually beneficial deal. Our rail system is integral to our supply chain, and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travelers and families across the country,” it added.

The announcement that a deal had been reached came one day after Amtrak, the US’s largest passenger rail operator, announced that it would suspend long-distance service as it uses freight rail lines to ferry passengers across the country.

The strike was set to take effect Friday.

Walsh lauded the parties involved “for reaching this hard-fought, mutually beneficial deal.”

“Our rail system is integral to our supply chain, and a disruption would have had catastrophic impacts on industries, travelers and families across the country,” he said on Twitter.

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