KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With a potential rail strike imminent, FOX4 is working for you with what this could mean for Kansas City-area families.
All eyes are on Congress after President Joe Biden called on lawmakers Monday evening to step in and stop the potential strike, the result of failed union contract talks.
Railroad workers want paid sick time and better schedules. The strike could happen as soon as Dec. 9.
Locally, industries like the agriculture economy and rail travel would be shut down.
“If it lasts up to a month, that’s when I think we’d start to see some major issues and some cracks in the system,” said Nathan Mauck, associate professor of finance at UMKC’s Bloch School.
Mauck said virtually everything would be impacted, but especially the agriculture economy the Kansas City region is known for.
“Commodities are really impacted, grains in particular, the ag economy relies on rail shipping,” Mauck said. “That would have impact, potentially, on food availability and pricing, potentially, depending how long the strike lasted.”
It would mean quite a change at the Port of Kansas City in a busy time.
Meredith Hoenes of Port KC said rail tonnage quadrupled in October due to low waterways making barge traffic decline.
“There is a lot of consumer goods that are crossing over those railways right now up because waterways are down, so you will see an impact,” Hoenes said.
As far as heating your home, Evergy sent FOX4 News this statement:
“Evergy produces power using diverse fuel sources, including nuclear energy, wind energy, coal and natural gas. Our balanced approach to generating electricity reduces the risk that an interruption in a fuel source would threaten our region’s power supply.
“Currently, we have one to two months of coal stored at each of our plants, enabling us to continue operation at our coal plants through an interruption in deliveries.
“In the case of a prolonged strike, a significant portion of the U.S. supply chain would be negatively impacted, jeopardizing many sectors of the economy, including the production of electricity in our service territory.”
Amtrak sent this statement:
“Amtrak continues to monitor ongoing freight rail management-labor contract negotiations. The negotiations do not involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce.”
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