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July 18, 2022

Biden signs order to set up board for settling railroad conflicts

This order, which took effect on 18 July 2022, is aimed at helping keep the freight rail network undisrupted.

US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order for the formation of a presidential emergency board to address disputes of freight railroad carriers and unions.

This order, which took effect on 18 July 2022, is aimed at helping keep the freight rail network undisrupted.

The board will offer a structure for workers and management to resolve their spat.

It will also launch a probe into the dispute and offer a report suggesting how it should be settled, in 30 days of its establishment.

Furthermore, the White House stated that the executive order “triggers a “cooling off” period intended to keep the parties working toward a negotiated settlement.”

Ira Jaffe will serve as the chair of the presidential emergency board, which also includes Boston College Professor David Twome and independent arbitrator Barbara Deinhardt.

Jaffe is a US panelist on the Rapid Response Labor Panel under the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

The move averts a nationwide strike, scheduled on 18 July, by around 115,000 workers in the US over wages and benefits. A strike of such scale would have hampered food and fuel supplies.

Negotiations between key freight railroads, including Union Pacific and BNSF, as well as unions representing their workers, have been continuing for over two years, reported Reuters.

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department president was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We look forward to the forthcoming recommendations of the presidentially appointed arbitrators.”

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