How national railroad strike could have affected central Texas

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:16 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Wednesday, house members approved a bill to avoid a national railroad workers strike because that could have been detrimental to the economy.

The goal is to keep our economy flowing and avoid inflation prices rising even more.

President of Perryman Group and Econ Research Company, Ray Perryman, said the strike could have costed billions of dollars.

“A rail strike would be very severe we’ve analyzed this in detail. If you had said a one-month strike, it would probably cost the US economy about well over 200 billion dollars in gross product. It would cost the Texas economy about 30 billion dollars,” said Perryman.

Members of four rail unions rejected a previous agreement and are ready to strike over issues like paid sick time, scheduling, staffing and more.

Perryman said Central Texas has a large diverse set of manufacturing industries by train.

He said we would see the same food supply issues from the pandemic since the rail industry moves a lot of our agriculture.

“We forget about it sometimes and take it for granted, but it’s a very, very important part of our supply chain and holding everything together for us to produce goods and get them to customers. In central Texas, because of its manufacturing concentration, it has quite a bit a stake there,” said Perryman.

Although it may be good news for our economy, President of Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, Michael Baldwin, said the political involvement takes away power.

“Takes away the strength and the abilities that we have to force bargaining or force the railroads into a situation to actually do the right thing.”

Perryman said we must do what we can to prevent turmoil.

“I never liked to see the government resolve these things, I’d rather see the private sector do it, but we’re in a situation that I really don’t think we as a country can endure a lengthy, sustained, rail strike,” said Perryman.