House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) introduced a measure in the House last night to avert the threat of a potentially crippling rail labor strike next week.
Mica introduced H.J. Res. 91 on November 30, 2011 to provide resolution of an outstanding railway labor-management dispute.
"A shutdown of the nation's railways would be economically devastating to the country," Mica said. "If this issue cannot be resolved by the parties involved, Congress must act to ensure there will be no shutdown of this critical component of the nation's transportation system and the economy."
"The possibility of a national railway strike would cost our economy $2 billion per day and would decimate American jobs," said Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). "Shutting down our nation's railways as we enter the busy holiday season would cripple a vital transportation sector at the worst possible time. I remain hopeful the parties involved will resolve the situation without action from Congress, but we are prepared to act to avoid this crisis."
Passage of this resolution would implement the recommendations of President Obama's Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which was charged with reporting on and recommending resolution to the ongoing dispute. The PEB has made its recommendations but 3 of the 11 labor organizations have yet to agree with the railroads on terms.
H.J. Res. 91 and resolution of the dispute are necessary to avert a crippling work stoppage that would cost the nation's economy an estimated $2 billion per day. If the labor-management dispute cannot be resolved by December 6th, only Congressional action will ensure that the nation's railroads do not stop running.