Truckers and trucking organizations alike say that they are concerned about the impact a potential rail strike could have on the trucking industry.
Union workers recently rejected deals with the freight railroads and demanded improved working conditions and paid sick days for employees. The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday, November 30th in hopes of avoiding a rail strike. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation sometime next week.
Despite the government’s attempts to avoid a potential economic catastrophe, those in the trucking industry are still concerned about what may happen if the rail strike slated for December 9th happens anyway.
“It’s going to be really hard if they don’t work,” said Gene Collins, a trucker of 25 years. “Our other drivers aren’t going to be able to handle the workload. We’re already short on truck drivers.”
The American Trucking Association is also calling on Congress to avoid any potential rail strike, agreeing that the consequences would put even more pressure on the trucking industry.
“Further delay only causes more uncertainty and inflationary pressure when the economy is already straining under the weight of both,” the organization said in a tweet.
“With a Dec. 9 strike deadline, railroads are planning to stop taking hazardous materials, including fuel, next week. With fuel and diesel in short supply throughout the country, we cannot afford any further disruptions,” the thread continued.
“Hospitals, businesses and households depend on freight rail and trucking for their daily needs, and the trucking industry has neither the equipment nor the manpower to replace a single day of lost freight rail service.”
Railroad unions have disapproved of attempts by Congress to stop the strike, and as of now the strike is still planned for December 9th if their demands are not met.
“It’s going to be hard either way,” Collins said to Spectrum News 1. “Hopefully, they will continue to work, but it is what it is.”