Railroad and Union Workers tentative agreement’s impact on Wyoming

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Railroads and workers’ unions reached a tentative agreement early Thursday morning after almost striking prior to the compromise.

According to the Biden administration and lawmakers, a strike would have created supply chain issues across many industries and sectors.

In a statement, Union Pacific says, “We look forward to the unions ratifying these agreements and working with employees as we focus on restoring supply chain fluidity.”

Wyoming’s U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis weighs in on the impact the railroad workers’ tentative agreement would have had on our state.

Lummis says in an interview that the walk-out would have had a $2B a day cost effect on our national economy, limiting Wyoming’s exports nationally and internationally.

The strike would have started on Friday, Sept. 16.

Lummis also stated railroad cars carrying chlorine for municipal water treatment and supplies like lumber, steel, and coal would have also stayed in Wyoming, waiting to be brought to the marketplace.

”The effect would have been profound on the Wyoming economy. It would take like 500.000 trucks per day to replace what is hauled on the railroads. So the impending strike would have been an extreme blow to our already fragile economy and probably elevated inflation and supply chain issues,” said Lummis

The tentative deal has brought rail and union workers a 24 percent wage increase, bonuses, health benefits, and adjusted work hours.

The railroads have now reached tentative agreements with all 12 unions in their collective bargaining.