President Biden early on Thursday said in a statement that railroad companies and unions representing their workers had reached an agreement to avoid a nationwide strike that could have had a severe impact on the economy.
“The tentative agreement reached tonight is an important win for our economy and the American people,” Biden said in the statement.
He went on to say that the agreement means, “These rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs: all hard-earned. The agreement is also a victory for railway companies who will be able to retain and recruit more workers for an industry that will continue to be part of the backbone of the American economy for decades to come.“
The two sides had until 12:01 a.m. Friday to broker a deal and avoid a work stoppage.
Biden thanked Labor Secretary Marty Walsh for brokering the talks that lasted well into the night.
“I especially want to thank Secretary Walsh for his tireless, around-the-clock efforts that delivered a win for the hard working people of the US rail industry: as a result, we will keep Americans on the job in all the industries in this country that are touched by this vital industry.”
This developing report will be updated.