MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council is imploring Congress to adopt a tentative agreement between railroad management and labor to avoid an economy-crippling national rail shutdown. The NCC was among numerous food and agriculture groups which signed onto a letter sent to Senate and House leadership today urging legislation be passed immediately to adopt the tentative agreement.
NCC Chairman Ted Schneider said, “A rail strike would be extremely detrimental to every cotton industry segment.” He said that includes 1) farmers who need equipment parts, fertilizer and plant protection products, 2) cottonseed being shipped to feed cattle; 3) gins, warehousers, and merchandisers trying to meet obligations for raw cotton shipments and 4) domestic textile mills who need this fiber to employ thousands of U.S. workers.
The Louisiana cotton producer noted that coupled with the supply chain disruptions within the trucking sector and at the ports, a rail strike or lockout is just an untenable situation.
“The tentative agreement between management and labor is the only train on the tracks and Congress should act to adopt it well ahead of the December 9 deadline for a strike or lockout,” Schneider stated. “The U.S. cotton industry appreciates the Biden-Harris Administration’s role in reaching the agreement and is particularly thankful for Secretary Vilsack’s proactive role in representing U.S. agriculture’s needs and his efforts at trying to avert a strike that not only would hurt agriculture, but the broader U.S. economy.”
The Memphis-based NCC has a mission of ensuring the ability of all seven cotton industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.