Potential rail strike could have severe implications for agribusiness

short line rail

Potential rail strike could have severe implications for agribusiness

As you are aware, railroads and rail labor have until 12:01 a.m., on Sept. 16 to reach an agreement preventing a lockout or strike after the Presidential Emergency Board published a proposed settlement on Aug. 17.

Kansas Grain and Feed Association is working with its national affiliate organizations as well as the Kansas Congressional Delegation to find solutions to the impending rail labor strike.

As this deadline approaches, there is no agreement yet in place. Class I railroads announced recently they would begin curtailing shipments of hazardous materials in anticipation of a possible strike. It is now being reported that some grain shipments could stop as early as Wednesday.

A letter, coordinated and sent by the National Grain and Feed Association yesterday, urged leaders of railroads and rail labor unions to remain at the negotiating table and commit to reaching an agreement by Thursday to avoid a nationwide rail shutdown. Congress could be called upon to settle differences in the event of an impasse in negotiations, but the hope is to avoid this potential outcome.

As many agricultural facilities have already been experiencing rail service disruptions, the economic damages of a rail stoppage in the middle of the fall harvest would be severe.

Below are two steps you can take during this negotiation process: 

1. Reach out to your rail and labor contacts and implore them to stay at the negotiating table and continue working toward an agreement. 2. Call your lawmakers using the script on National Grain and Feed Association’s advocacy page to ask Congress to intervene immediately if railroads and labor fail to reach an agreement.

Jerry Moran

Senator Jerry Moran

Republican (202) 224-6521

Roger Marshall

Senator Roger Marshall

Republican (202) 224-4774

Sharice Davids

Congresswoman Sharice Davids

Democrat | 3rd District (202) 225-2865

Ron Estes

Congressman Ron Estes

Republican | 4th District (202) 225-6216

Jake LaTurner

Congressman Jake LaTurner

Republican | 2nd District (202) 225-6601

Tracey Mann

Congressman Tracey Mann

Republican | 1st District (202) 225-2715