Passengers in Charlotte react to tentative deal between labor unions and rail companies
A spokesperson for Amtrak said they are working to restore routes.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - President Biden announced a tentative deal between rail companies and unions-- as workers warned of a strike.
It could have thrown a wrench in the U.S. shipping industry and travel.
The announcement came after 20 hours of negotiations involving 12 railroad unions demanding better working conditions for employees.
Amtrak suspended some services starting earlier this week, anticipating the strike impacting its track.
A spokesperson for Amtrak sent WBTV the following statement:
Amtrak is working to quickly restore canceled trains and reaching out to impacted customers to accommodate on first available departures.
Passengers arrived at the Amtrak station in Charlotte from Greensboro Thursday afternoon in good spirits.
“I was actually worried about it and I looked into it to see if I needed to change trains or rent a car, but it ended up working out,” Tally McDonald said.
As of Wednesday, lines including the Crescent line, which runs between New York, Atlanta, and New Orleans --were suspended.
That line has stops in Charlotte, Gastonia, and Salisbury.
Passengers on several lines did not report issues Thursday.
“I would’ve missed work tonight so I’m very grateful it got resolved for sure,” John Goldan said. “I’d still be stuck in Greensboro.”
President Biden said the tentative deal between unions and rail companies is a win for everyone.
“Those rail workers will get better pay, 24 percent wage increase over the next five years, improved work conditions, improved healthcare by capping the cost that workers will have to pay,” President Biden said.
The strike could have been devastating for the economy.
“That affects a third of goods transferred across the country,” Mike Hamrick, an economic analyst with BankRate, told WBTV. “We’ve been talking for more than a year about supply chain disruptions, that’s bringing it close to home.”
While passengers are grateful to be home, Sanchez Williams says he hopes this is a wake-up call to put people over profit.
“People are the things that make this country go round,” Williams said. “Without transportation or the ability how are we supposed to build back up or get back to what we perceive as a normal society?”
Amtrak is reaching out to any customers impacted by this and waiving all change fees for reservations made through the end of October.
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