U.S. Freight Railroads to Begin Cutting Service; Strike Looming

Over the weekend, ongoing U.S. railroad union talks failed which could lead to a union strike by September 17th. Many unions and railroads are now warning of cargo delays and shutdowns if a deal is not reached very soon. Major Class I railroads including Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern and CSX are warning of the delays starting Monday after weekend talks failed.

The Association of American Railroads confirmed in a statement Friday that six Class I freight railroads will begin to take steps to “manage and secure” shipments of some hazardous or sensitive materials from Monday.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers are the two unions who have not reached a deal yet. They are also the two largest unions, accounting for more than 90,000 rail employees.

Any slowdown or shutdown in rail service could have a drastic impact on supply chains and comes at a time when fall harvest is set to ramp up across much of the country.