Mitch McConnell ERUPTS After Big Deal Is Abruptly Blocked
(TheRedWire.com) – Over the last several weeks, a railroad labor strike emerged as the newest potential threat to the US economy. The Association of American Railroads estimated that a work stoppage would cost the country $2 billion per day. On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blocked a proposal that would have required unions and freight railway carriers to accept recommendations of the non-partisan presidential emergency board. It recommended increasing wages by 24% and offering a $1,000 bonus. Sanders argued the resolution didn’t provide enough sick time. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) railed at Democrats’ recklessness.
Senate Democrats just blocked our bill that would have given railway workers a big raise and prevented a crippling strike and supply chain crisis.
If a strike occurs and paralyzes food, fertilizer, and energy shipments nationwide, it will be because Democrats blocked this bill.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) September 14, 2022
Republicans said Sanders wanted the labor unions to strike regardless of the harm to the fragile supply chain or the economy. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) stated on the floor of the Senate that Congress became involved 18 times in the past to stop crippling strikes by imposing presidential emergency board proposals.
While Sanders and Democrats scorned the GOP bill and earned the ire of McConnell, the Biden administration stepped into the middle of the negotiations. Early Thursday morning, September 15, the White House announced it had helped to broker a tentative agreement between the rail companies and the labor unions, pending an approval vote by union workers.
Officials said the deal increased worker pay, improved working conditions, and ensured stable healthcare costs. Still, some say it will result in higher shipping costs to consumers. So, the deal will likely impact inflation negatively despite protecting the supply chain.
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