Railroads and workers’ unions reached a tentative labor agreement early Thursday to avert a national rail strike that threatened to shut a major segment of the U.S. transportation network.
The last-minute deal avoids massive disruptions to the flow of key goods and commodities around the country. About 40% of the nation’s long-distance trade is moved by rail. If the unions had gone on strike, more than 7,000 trains would have been idled, costing up to an estimated $2 billion per day.
The deadline for an agreement was midnight Friday morning. The parties spent 20 consecutive hours negotiating before reaching a deal.
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