SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A rail worker strike could be looming after one of the largest rail unions voted against a tentative contract with freight rail companies. A rail strike could mean yet another disruption in the supply chain, right in the middle of the holiday season.
SMART-TD which represents 28,000 conductors voted against the contract, while the 24,000 strong Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen voted for the deal. That leaves us at a standstill.
If a strike happens, then it could impact the transportation of everything from produce, meat, crude oil, new cars and other items. Congress does have the ability to block a strike however Congressman Richard Neal would prefer if a negotiated settlement was reached.
“One of the key parts of negotiations is everybody walks away a little bit happy. And I think if we can refrain from the government directly interfering until we have to, that’s the best course to follow,” said Neal.
Rail workers are hoping for better pay, stating they have not received a raise since 2019. If an agreement isn’t reached by December 8th, rail workers could go on strike the next day.