How damaging a strike would be would depend on its length, but a strike of even a few days could lead to a cascade of events that would disrupt supply chains for weeks, industry officials warn.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, lawmakers and business leaders are warning of an economic crisis should the country’s railroad workers go on strike as planned next week — a move that would have far-reaching effects across the economy.
Railway workers would go on strike shortly after midnight Dec. 9 if a deal isn't reached before then. Biden is urging Congress to intervene.
Without congressional intervention and with talks between workers and railway operators seemingly at a standstill, companies across the economy are bracing for a complete shutdown of freight and passenger railway systems. With a shortage of truck drivers, companies wouldn’t be able to shift their shipments, stranding a vast majority of goods.
Just how damaging a strike would be to the economy would depend on its length, but a strike of even a few days could lead to a cascade of events that would disrupt supply chains for weeks, industry officials warn. The White House projects that as many as 765,000 people could be put out of work in the first two weeks.
"Businesses integral to our normal day-to-day life, like food and fuel manufacturers, will feel the impact immediately and will quickly trickle down to consumers," said Jeffrey Hausman, the chief product officer at the supply chain management firm Samsara.
Here are some of the ways the U.S. would feel the effects of a railway strike: