Worsening railroad issues could stump supply chain

With an increase in delayed trains and 115,000 workers negotiating for higher pay, more chaos is brewing for the U.S. freight rail system, according to Wired

One of the causes for the supply disruptions is the Precision Scheduled Railroading model, which was implemented to wean staff and run fewer trains by making them longer, sometimes spanning 3 miles. The federal Surface Transportation Board, labor unions and rail customers all pointed to the PSR for the latest issues. 

Rail workers have been negotiating for more pay since 2019, when their last contract expired. The yearslong scuffle could come to a head soon because if the matter isn't resolved by Sept. 15, the 115,000 employees can strike, according to Wired. Congress could step in to delay or end the strike, but with the deadline set for three days after a recess in the House of Representatives, time is limited. 

Max Fisher, chief economist at the National Grain and Feed Association, which represents grain producers, told Wired his organization's members are saying it's "the worst rail service they've ever experienced."

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