Toy Association Monitors Potential Rail Strike Amid Ongoing Labor Negotiations

September 12, 2022 | The Toy Association is closely monitoring a new threat to the U.S. supply chain ahead of the holiday selling season. President Biden previously took action to hold off a nationwide strike of U.S. railroad workers, but now a new September 16th deadline looms and negotiations with two of the nation’s largest rail unions are expected to break down.

While the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents the nation’s freight railroads in national collective bargaining, announced that tentative agreements have been reached with the majority of rail unions, contract negotiations have yet to be reached with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the SMART Transportation Division, which collectively represent half of U.S. railroad union workers. A recent report found that a nationwide rail service interruption could cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion per day.

“While many of our members have already acted early to ensure their product is ashore and ready for shelves ahead of the holidays this year, this new threat could trigger unforeseen delays in moving product onto shelves, out of warehouses, and into the hands of consumers,” said Ed Desmond, executive vice president of global government & regulatory affairs at The Toy Association. “Reports indicate that a train with 100 containers can carry 200,000 UPS packages headed for doorsteps this holiday, so we are keeping all channels of communication open with government officials, retailers, and our fellow consumer product groups to keep our members informed of the latest developments.”

Members are encouraged to bookmark The Toy Association’s Shipping Crisis Resource Center for the latest updates on supply chain issues.