SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) sent a letter urging Congress action if the ongoing labor negotiations in the freight rail industry fails to arrive at a resolution.
In a letter to congressional leadership, Kevin Dempsey, President and CEO, AISI expressed concerns about the state of ongoing negotiations. The failure to arrive at a consensus would lead to significant disruption in the critical national rail system, which in turn would have serious consequences for the entire U.S. economy. A functional freight railroad system is critical to ensure that the American steel industry can effectively and efficiently serve its customers.
He noted that the nation’s railroads are an indispensable necessity for the health and survival of the U.S. domestic steel industry. The local steel producers depend heavily on railroads for transporting raw materials to their mills and for shipping finished steel products to the market. For instance, railroads hauled more than 1.5 million carloads of steel and steelmaking raw materials during the previous year.
AISI considers a voluntary agreement among all parties to the ongoing rail negotiations as the best possible outcome. However, it urged the Congress to act, if the negotiators fail to reach an agreement by the end of the cooling off period, so as to keep the freight rail systems operational.