The United States approves an express law to prevent a railroad strike from collapsing the country | International

The United States will avoid the railway strike with a law that has been processed in two days. The US Constitution allows Congress to legislate to prevent a rail strike, and Democrats and Republicans have colluded to prevent essential transportation from collapsing in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The law was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and by the Senate on Thursday.

In the meeting he held on Tuesday, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, with the leaders of Congress of both parties, proposed that the most urgent measure was to approve this regulation to avoid the strike. With it, a principle of agreement that the Biden government promoted among the representatives of the workers and companies in September, but which was later rejected by four of the 12 unions involved, is imposed with the force of law.

The agreement entails a 24% salary increase over five years and other flexibility measures that favor employees, but it leaves out a key point claimed by workers: up to seven days a year of paid sick leave. Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed putting that improvement into the law, but that proposal has been voted on separately and defeated by opposition Republican senators.


Biden had already called on Congress to act on Monday: “Let me be clear: a rail shutdown would devastate our economy. Without freight rail, many American industries would shut down,” he said in a statement. “As a president who is proud to be pro-labor, I am reluctant to nullify the ratification procedures and the opinions of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of workers and families — I think Congress should use its powers to pass this deal,” he added.

Biden has tried to recover the worker vote that Donald Trump had seduced to a large extent and before the last elections he campaigned with the unions, but now he has preferred to avoid the damage that the paralysis of the railways would do to the country. Congress has not used its extraordinary powers under the Constitution to prevent a railroad strike since the mid-1990s.

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After the approval of the norm in the Senate (with 80 votes in favor and 15 against), the president of the United States only needs to sign and promulgate the law so that it enters into force and the strike harms the economy. Problems in the supply chain due to the railway strike on dates of great economic and commercial activity would not only have torpedoed the economy, but would have revived inflationary tensions that seem to have subsided slightly with the drop in oil prices and the interest rate hikes approved by the Federal Reserve to cool demand.

The deadline to close an agreement expired on December 9 and the date was approaching without understanding between the parties. As part of the negotiation to pass the law, Republicans have proposed that this deadline be extended for another 60 days.

Biden has also exposed other priorities to the call lame Duck Congress, that is, the one that continues to operate until those elected at the polls take office on November 8. The president wants additional funds to be approved for military and economic aid to Ukraine and the fight against covid. The processing of these possible measures, however, is not progressing as quickly.

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