The nationwide rail strike of the country’s union railroad workers appears to be going full steam ahead on Friday after labor negotiations with corporations and the government regarding sick days and pay appear to be collapsing.

Corporations and cities appear to be gearing up to a possibility of a nationwide strike to begin on Friday, with Union Pacific and other railroad corporations refusing sensitive or dangerous cargo due to an expectation of no workers to protect them, according to CNN.

Trussville Mayor Buddy Choat in Alabama also expressed insecurity regarding the looming railway strike, saying that prices would increase across the board in the city due to materials not being able to enter in time, WBRC reported.

“We have projects going on right now that we are anticipating products being shipped in, and if they aren’t shipped in, it delays us and costs us and our vendors more money in the long run,” Choat said. “We think we know what this will cost, but if this happens, we may have to delay for a significant amount of time.”

A nationwide railway strike is expected to cost over US$2 billion a day for the United States economy once it begins. Trucks and truck drivers who could potentially carry the cargo are reportedly coming up short of about 500,000 trucks per day, and many believe that the costs to the economy will increase the longer the strike goes on, CNBC reported.

“Depending on the length of any service interruption, the overall impact would double each day the interruption continued,” CEO Alan Baer said. “As we experienced with the ports, delays mounted quickly and it is now taking weeks to unwind. Domestic trucking rates would surge as capacity disappears. Overall a nightmare scenario.”

President Joe Biden has appointed an emergency Presidential Advisory Board to help negotiate a deal between the railway companies and their unions, but many of them continue to be unsatisfied with the deal and have called out the corporations for instead relying on Congress to force the terms of the deal and avoid a general strike.

“The railroads are using shippers, consumers, and the supply chain of our nation as pawns in an effort to get our unions to cave into their contract demands,” the unions said in a statement. “Our unions will not cave into these scare tactics, and Congress must not cave into what can only be described as corporate terrorism.”

A nationwide railway strike is all but imminent to happen on Friday as the government and railway companies fail to ink a deal with the railway workers' unions that could prevent a strike. This is a representational image. Alexander Popov/Unsplash.

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