A US official said that President Joe Biden considers the railroad strike unacceptable given the damage it will cause to the economy.
“The President declared the suspension unacceptable from the outset because of the damage it would cause to jobs, families, businesses and communities across the country,” the Washington Post quoted an administration official as saying.
The official noted that the majority of American railroad workers’ unions voted to approve the interim agreement to improve working conditions, and the rest would be better off ironing out differences.
One of the largest railway trade unions, SMART-TD, rejected the terms of the temporary agreement with the railway companies and announced a return to negotiations.
Some 100,000 U.S. railroad workers could go on general strike on Dec. 4 if any of the 12 major unions decide to suspend work after failing to reach an agreement with the industry’s majors.
CNN estimates that this could lead to the disruption of about 30% of cargo transportation, causing problems in the economy.
So far, 8 out of 12 unions have supported the terms of an interim agreement reached last September to improve working conditions for rail workers.