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US reaches 'tentative' agreement with rail workers

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Washington, Sep 15: US President Joe Biden said Thursday that the government had reached a "tentative" agreement with railway workers who had been planning a possible strike from Friday.

The agreement is one that the US government sees as vital in view of the potential damage such a strike would cause to the economy, seriously reducing the Democrats' chances of maintaining their power in the upcoming midterm elections in November.

US reaches tentative agreement with rail workers

A strike might have cost the economy as much a $2 billion (€2 billion) a day as shipments of food and fuel came to a halt.

What did the government say?

The agreement was "an important win for our economy and the American people,'' Biden said in a statement.

"It is a win for tens of thousands of rail workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that America's families and communities got deliveries of what have kept us going during these difficult years.''

Biden said the rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions and "peace of mind around their health care costs: all hard-earned." He said the agreement would now be voted on by unionized workers.

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Labor Secretary Marty Walsh also announced the agreement in a tweet, saying it balanced "the needs of workers, businesses, and our nation's economy."

At the news, shares of US railroad operators rose between 2.4% and 2.9% in early trade.

Among other things, rail workers were demanding better working conditions, including improvements in sick leave and bereavement leave.

Source: DW

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