U.S. House passes bill to avoid rail strike, Senate will vote next

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KVRR) — The U.S. House passed a resolution forcing unions to accept a tentative agreement reached earlier this year between railroad managers and their workers making a strike illegal.

The House also passed a second bill providing seven days of paid sick leave to railroad workers.

The two bills are heading to the Senate, which has until December 9 to vote on the bill before a strike could begin.

Matt Perdue, the Government Relations Director of the North Dakota Farmers Union says the state heavily relies on rail access when it comes to shipping inputs and finished products like renewable fuels.

When we talk about massive disruption to rail service, that’s a major concern for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. Obviously, we would love to see a voluntary agreement between the unions and the shippers here. In this case, it looks like we are headed towards a congressional resolution to this issue,” Perdue said.

North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer says that Congress’ role is “not to help negotiate a rail settlement, it’s to approve one.”

He says avoiding a rail strike is critical as millions of Americans will suffer and inflation will worsen.

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