RILA concerned over possible railroad shutdown

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is calling on the U.S. Congress to step in to avert a work stoppage that would disrupt retail supply chains during the holiday shopping season and well into 2012. A breakdown in negotiations between the National Railway Labor Conference and railroad negotiators could lead to a nationwide shutdown on Dec. 6, according to a press release issued by the Arlington, Va., trade group.

One option, according to RILA, is for Congress to impose the terms recommended by the Obama Administration’s Presidential Emergency Board on both rail management and labor. Estimates suggest that a national railroad work stoppage would cost the U.S. economy $2 billion per day.

“A national railroad shutdown would force retailers to shift the delivery of their goods to trucks, increasing costs, time of delivery and congestion on our nations already crowded roadways,” said RILA president Sandy Kennedy. “We urge Congress to exercise its power to step in to keep the flow of goods moving and avert an avoidable economic catastrophe.”

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