Labor Strike Threats Return: It is almost as if it is scripted
America’s rail system is vital to our economy and country. We thank the labor unions and railroad companies for staying at the table and avoiding a destructive shutdown by reaching a deal that benefits all parties.— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) September 15, 2022
The Railroad strike has been settled at the last possible moment after heroic phone calls by President Joe Biden.
Who actually buys this garbage?
The potential strike was the culmination of ten years of negotiations replete with numerous lawful federal government interventions to cool things down.
The latest deadline was the result of the end of a federal government cooling down period, and the unions who were threatening to strike were rejecting a proposal prepared by the Biden appointed President Executive Board (PEB). The unique labor laws governing the rail and airline industry’s give the federal government extraordinary involvement and power over labor disputes affecting these two industries.
So, after years of watching Washington, D.C. go to the last minute on government funding deals, who is surprised that a crisis which the Biden administration has been part of creating over the past twenty months or so, was brought to a head and miraculously solved by the cape wearing Biden just in the nick of time.
What a joke.
Given that the PEB created the settlement that the unions were rejecting, Biden knew exactly what the union would likely accept and the President had to power to jam it down the railroad industries collective throats. That is what happened.
The cost of transportation will go up as the 1970s wage/price spiral just begins to take effect, spurring more price increases.
Other private sector unions, emboldened by the result, will demand new contracts that include cost of living adjustments plus new money, reflecting and accelerating Biden’s inflation spiral.
The bottom line is that Joe Biden has not only made inflation great again, he has reintroduced America to another phenomena from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, the threat of the crippling labor strike.
So, if you were script writing for this administration, where would the next labor crisis hit?
If it were me, the next strike threat would be at the ports on the west coast where the contract between the Ports and the West Coast Port Worker Union has expired for months but negotiations continue, until they don’t.
So, if modern politics is little more than navigating a series of manufactured and planned crises, what better opportunity exists than to have a potential strike threaten 40 percent of all imports that come into America.
CNN could reinstate their war time countdown graphics with the heavy drumbeats in the background, while detailing in serious tones that Christmas might have to be canceled as the toys all are sitting on ships.
MSNBC will respond in hushed awe as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg explains that in addition to his and his husband’s child-care duties, he is spending at least fifteen minutes a day focused on the port crisis – the kind of sacrifice that only the most heroic government leaders would make.
And of course, President Joe will call the Port leadership using his best “C’mon, man” intonation promising them money from the federal government for “infrastructure improvements” in exchange for giving the unions whatever they want to not strike.
The mid-October announcement could already be written. Christmas saved by last ditch Biden efforts. Department store Santas dancing joyously in Lafayette Park as their services will still be required. All of this culminates with Macy’s announcing that a brand new Biden balloon will appear at their Thanksgiving Parade cheered on by the transgender children’s chorus sponsored by the New York City library system.
Rick Manning is President of Americans for Limited Government
Wondered what it was all about? Click through on this thread. It’s about two of largest railroad carriers, Union Pacific + BNSF (subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway), who have attendance policies that penalize workers, up to firing, for going to the doctor and attending to family emergencies. Conductors and engineers say that they can be on call for 14 consecutive days and expected to drop everything at anytime of day to work. They say the policy is “destroying their lives.” 7,000 workers are angry and prepared to strike if this issue is not addressed. “Living the way we live is absolutely brutal,” Jared Cassity, a SMART union official said. “Our folks are working sick and tired because they can’t take a day off.”
For folks asking: why is a railroad strike looming that would shut down much of the major transportation infrastructure in the US (…. & impact nearly every part of the economy from food to energy to retail)?— Lauren Kaori Gurley (@LaurenKGurley) September 13, 2022
A little context: It all boils down to sick leave policies.