President Biden claimed Thursday that a tentative deal to avoid a major railroad strike means food prices will stop rising after rising a staggering 13.5% over the past 12 months.
“Mr. President, food prices are up over 13%, what are you saying to struggling Americans?” A reporter shouted at Biden during a Rose Garden event celebrating the agreement.
“The rail is moving and it won’t go up.” Biden called back in response.
Though averting a rail closure prevents a major disruption to service, it’s unclear how the labor deal would halt broader food price hikes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Tuesday that home food prices rose 0.7% from July to August — a 12-month gain of 13.5% as annual headline inflation climbed 8.3% stayed high.
The railroad labor scheme gives better wages and benefits to workers who transport goods, which could potentially increase consumer prices. The deal still has to be approved by union members.
Biden announced the deal early Thursday after a 20-hour overnight negotiation session at the Labor Department.
“This agreement is a huge win for America,” Biden said. “This is a win for tens of thousands of railroad workers and for their dignity and the dignity of their work.”
The President continued, “I think this is a great thing from both sides. The agreement is also a victory for the railway companies.”
The pact provides railway workers with a 24% pay rise over five years and caps the cost of workers’ health spending. The workers had also requested sick days and are reportedly to be given one extra paid day off per year.
Biden did the lap of honor after being called into Labor Department hearings around 9 p.m. Wednesday to say a railroad closure was “unacceptable,” according to a White House official.
Labor Secretary Marty Walsh chaired the marathon talks and called the White House around 2 a.m. to report a tentative agreement had been reached, the official said. Biden did not answer that early morning call.
The president hastily added two events to the White House schedule Thursday morning — including a brief meeting in the Oval Office with negotiators. The President entertained his guests by recounting a version of his famous “Joey, Baby!” Story to underscore his love for Amtrak, although fact-checkers have debunked the story.
Rose Garden guests who attended the late-night talks told reporters they had not slept and were pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to the White House.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/15/biden-claims-rail-deal-will-curb-grocery-prices/ Biden claims rail deal will dampen food prices