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National Retail Federation's Matthew Shay Comments on Tentative Rail Agreement

National Retail Federation's Matthew Shay Comments on Tentative Rail Agreement

Friday, September 16th, 2022

The National Retail Federation (NRF) recently pulled back the curtain on the potential system-wide disruption of rail cargo as a result of negotiations between freight railroads and rail labor organizations. As supply chain disruptions continue to impact the industry, a deadline of September 15 was made for negotiations to conclude, leading to the White House’s involvement to prevent a strike.

Matthew Shay, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Retail Federation“Freight rail is critical to the retail supply chain, and retailers of every size rely on it to move cargo every day. Retailers are deeply concerned about the situation and the impact that a disruption would have on business operations throughout the country,” President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay commented in a statement. “The timing coincides directly with peak shipping season for the winter holidays, and a rail strike at this juncture would be just one more significant, inflationary shock to an economy that is already reeling from historically high inflation. Smooth and stable operations on the rails are crucial as we enter the busy holiday season.”

Last week, NRF issued a letter to Congress expressing concern about the potential for U.S. freight rail disruptions, which could have halted nearly 7,000 freight trains and cost more than $2 billion a day.

Negotiations between freight railroads and rail labor organizations were set to conclude September 15, with a tentative agreement reached and a shutdown avoided

Thankfully, a strike was delayed as the White House made an overnight announcement that a tentative agreement has been reached between freight railroads and rail labor organizations, avoiding a shutdown of the freight rail system.

“We are relieved and cautiously optimistic that this devastating nationwide rail strike has been averted. We appreciate the Biden administration’s intervention on behalf of the businesses and consumers who would have been impacted at a time when high inflation and economic uncertainty are challenging consumer budgets and putting business resiliency at risk,” commented Shay. “We hope railway workers will accept the new terms of the proposed contract and the railway system can continue to operate on behalf of the millions of hardworking Americans who rely on it for their jobs and the economic security of our country.”

Click here to read more about the agreement. And keep clicking on Deli Market News for current industry updates.

National Retail Federation