Rail employees’ potential strike may impair supply networks across the nation as early as next week.
Holiday gifts, essential chemicals, and commuter trains are just a few examples of the potential consequences.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday in Washington to ratify a provisional accord to halt the potentially catastrophic strike.
However, if the strike does take place, it is anticipated that its effects will extend beyond merely the freight lines. A strike might cost the economy $2 billion every day, according to some estimates.
According to Joseph Schwieterman, a transportation expert at DePaul University, “it has all these rippling effects beyond simply freight, and in Chicago, we are likely to feel the repercussions more than just about any other area.”
Both Metra and Amtrak canceled certain services in September in anticipation of the impending strike, which had an effect on thousands of passengers. This was before the White House intervened to mediate a tentative agreement with the rail workers.
If an agreement is not made this time, the supply chain for things like coal, timber, grain, and some holiday goods will be disrupted.
According to Tyler Theile, vice president and director of public policy for the Anderson Economic Group, “when we talk about lack of inventory – in-demand products not being shipped on a normal timeline – It could mean lean holidays for retailers of various sizes, whether they’re online or brick-and-mortar.”
As time ran out, members of the House of Representatives approved an agreement that called for a 24 percent raise over five years. A second law that was passed gives employees seven more days of paid sick time.
A strike might have a debilitating effect, especially if it lasts longer than a day or two, according to Schwieterman.
Metra officials said they are actively monitoring the situation and are hoping that a strike won’t happen. If it seems that a settlement won’t be reached, Metra stated they will contact customers early next week.
Metra is pleading with Congress to take action well before the deadline next Friday to prevent any significant hiccups.
If a strike still appears likely, Metra said it will let customers know early next week.