The Pet Food Institute (PFI) commends President Biden’s call for Congress to intervene to avoid a potential rail strike next month. PFI is urging Congress to act quickly to pass legislation this week to avert a rail stoppage that would cripple the U.S. economy and has set up an advocacy campaign on its website to facilitate outreach to members of Congress.
An agreement brokered by the Biden administration earlier this fall has been rejected by four of the 12 rail labor unions. Congressional action will be necessary if labor unions fail to reach an agreement with the railroads before the “cooling-off” period ends, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 9. A rail strike would exacerbate current supply issues and inflation. About 40% of the nation’s freight is hauled via railway, and it is estimated that a rail strike would cost the nation’s economy approximately $2 billion per day.
“We thank President Biden for encouraging Congress to immediately pass bipartisan legislation enforcing the September agreement,” said PFI’s President & CEO Dana Brooks. “It is critical that Congress intervene now to prevent a rail strike next month. Should a rail strike occur, the effects on the pet food industry would be felt immediately. Key ingredients used in pet food products are delivered daily by rail to manufacturing facilities. Any disruptions to this supply chain will severely impact the production of pet food for our nation’s dogs and cats. The long-term effects for the U.S. economy would be overwhelming, including higher inflation, lack of consumer access to goods and loss of jobs.”
PFI is asking its members and stakeholders to use the advocacy campaign to contact their representatives and senators today, urging Congress to pass the necessary legislation this week to prevent a rail strike.