The situation is delicate for Joe Biden when the mid-term legislative elections will be held in November. In the meantime, the American president must avoid any social and economic slippage, starting with strikes that would disrupt one of the head of state’s key sectors: rail transport.
The unions are demanding a salary increase, but also better working conditions. The American president, who never misses an opportunity to affirm, in general, his support for the unions, as well as representatives of the American executive were in contact on Monday with the unions and railway freight companies, to prevent ongoing social negotiations do not lead to a strike, according to a White House official. ” All parties must stay at the table, negotiate in good faith, and reach an agreement »pleaded for its part the Ministry of Labor in a press release. ” A shutdown of our rail freight system would be an unacceptable outcome for our economy », according to him. It would, in fact, disrupt the transport of goods, but also that of passengers. Some companies have already announced measures to manage the transport of dangerous or sensitive materials. The Amtrak passenger train company has announced that it is canceling, as a precaution, trains using three long-distance lines from Tuesday, September 13.
Despite these exchanges, two of the 12 unions, which represent train drivers, had not yet reached agreement on all their demands. While the financial part of the negotiations was settled, certain points relating to working conditions remained under discussion. The 12 unions and the employers have until September 16 to find a new collective agreement.
Strikes are on the rise in the UK
The United States is not alone in experiencing social movements. In the United Kingdom, strikes have been increasing for several weeks. Even if they were stopped after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died last Thursday, they had paralyzed various sectors on several occasions such as the post office, last August, but also the port of Felixstowe which is the largest for freight in the country, as well as the railways or the London Underground. It was the biggest strike action in decades. Workers are demanding higher wages and better working conditions to counter runaway inflation, which is over 10% and could climb to over 13% in October.