Shippers Urge Creation of PEB in Contract Talks

In a letter sent to President Joseph Biden, a group of rail shippers has asked for the appointment of a Presidential Emergency Board to step into the contract talks between the nation’s largest railroads and the unions that represent their workers.

The contract talks have drug on for more than two years and have reached a stalemate.

The shippers fear the situation will result in a strike later this year that the shippers said would further exacerbate the supply chain congestion of the past year.

A presidential emergency board would not have authority under federal law to impose a contract settlement, but Congress could step in and halt a strike or lock out if it gets to that.

A presidential board would investigate and make recommendations for a settlement.

The shipper coalition includes groups representing agriculture producers, manufacturers, refiners and energy producers.

Their letter said that in past contract disputes, the PEB’s recommendations have led to the parties agreeing to a new contract based on those recommendations.

Among the groups signing the letter were the CEOs of the American Chemistry Council, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute, National Association of Chemical Distributors, National Grain and Feed Association, and The Fertilizer Institute.

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