WASHINGTON – Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran spoke Tuesday and encouraged a resolution to the railway labor-management dispute ahead of a possible strike.
He also highlighted the negative impact a rail shutdown would have on the world and Kansas.
“In parts of Kansas facing severe drought, feed yards, places that we feed cattle, are shipping grain from other areas in the country to feed their livestock,” said Moran. “Rail service is critical to these producers to get the feed they need to get their livestock fed and healthy.”
If the two sides can’t agree, Congress could step in to block a strike and impose terms on the railroads and unions, but it wasn’t clear Wednesday how quickly they could or would act because Democrats and Republicans may not be able to readily agree on a solution.
“In the event that a conclusion is not reached, I will utilize my opportunities as a member of the Senate as a member of Congress for congressional intervention and work to shield the impact of a rail shutdown across the nation,” Moran added.
In addition to all the businesses that rely on railroads to deliver their goods, passenger railroads are also affected because many of them operate on tracks owned by one of the freight railroads.
Amtrak has already canceled several of its long-distance trains because there wouldn’t be enough time for them to reach their destinations before a strike or lockout would be allowed to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Many businesses that rely on railroads to deliver their raw materials and finished products say a rail strike would cause significant problems particularly for oil refineries, chemical businesses, auto makers, retailers and agricultural groups.
A strike would cost the economy more than $2 billion a day.