As negotiations between labor unions and freight railroad companies over a new contract continue, Amtrak prepared for a potential strike by cancelling several of its long-distance routes. If a deal is not reached, a strike could begin as soon as Friday. The affected routes, which closed starting Tuesday, includes:
“While we are hopeful that parties will reach a resolution, Amtrak has now begun phased adjustments to our service in preparation for a possible freight rail service interruption later this week,” Amtrak said in a statement Monday.
While negotiations do not involve Amtrak or its workers, the company said a freight railroad strike could significantly affect Amtrak’s passenger rail service routes. On Monday, the Biden administration warned a strike would pose “an unacceptable outcome” to the U.S. economy that could cost $2 billion a day.
“The parties continue to negotiate, and last night [Labor] Secretary [Marty Walsh] again engaged to push the parties to reach a resolution that averts any shutdown of our rail system,” a Labor Department spokesperson said Monday. “All parties need to stay at the table, bargain in good faith to resolve outstanding issues, and come to an agreement.”