Norfolk Southern will enact their own “contingency plans” across their network. This will include a “controlled shut down” starting Friday September 16th. This is when the “cooling-off period” expires. The Railway Labor Act was implemented by Biden officials two months ago to prevent a strike. It requires a 30-day cooling period. After September 16, the railroad industry will have to appeal to Congress to reach a deal with the labor unions.
Ten unions have already reached a deal with AAR, but two of the biggest continue to hold out: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.
The railroads are moving quickly to secure shipments of hazardous and security-sensitive materials. The AAR warned: “We still do not have a commitment not to strike and [therefore we] must act accordingly.”