US President Joe Biden, Friday, passed a law that forces labor unions and companies to accept a compromise deal that averts a looming nationwide rail shutdown.
Biden pleaded with lawmakers to quickly pass the measure, which he brokered over the summer.
He stressed that “the economic repercussions that may result from the railway strike will be catastrophic and will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the bill, followed by the Senate on Thursday, with both chambers providing strong support for the bill.
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Referring to the approaching holiday season, Biden said, “The bill I’m about to sign ends a difficult railroad dispute, and helps our nation avoid what must have been an economic disaster at a very bad time in the calendar.”
The bill is the result of a preliminary agreement brokered by the Biden administration over the summer between the railroad unions and the companies.
Under this law, the country’s legislature is empowered to prevent a strike by railway workers.
Four of the 12 unions involved in the negotiations refused to agree that the workers would not receive paid sick leave, and the unions threatened to strike if an agreement was not reached by December 9.