warm thoughts


Written on: September 13, 2022

NPGA is supportive of its rail and coalition partners as numerous groups work towards a resolution between the nation’s Class 1 railroads and unions to avoid a strike.

The most recent update from the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) of the National Railway Labor Conference is located here. The NCCC represents all U.S. Class 1 railroads other than Canadian Pacific.

Recommendations from the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) — a panel of arbitrators appointed by President Biden — are available here and a summary from NPGA’s coalition partner, the Association of American Railroads, is available here.

With the PEB’s recommendations in place, the nation’s freight railroads have reached agreement with a majority of the rail unions. However, as of this morning, there are still a couple of agreements not yet in place. Accordingly, there is the potential for a strike as early as 12:01 am on September 16, 2022.

NPGA President and CEO Stephen Kaminski

Please know that NPGA is pulling all levers we can to assist. We are in communications with our coalition partners to support their efforts and we have pressed Congress through NPGA’s Congressional Propane Caucus to stress the importance of continued rail operations on propane delivery logistics. This outreach is particularly important because the complexities of the federal Railway Labor Act (RLA) allow rail industry strikes of this nature to be resolved by an act of Congress. And in fact, since the 1960s, Congress has resolved all such strikes quickly.

Between today and September 16, freight rail is taking steps to ensure they can shut down operations safely if a strike occurs and be positioned to restart quickly when operations resume. For example, NPGA is aware that at least four Class 1 railroads are embargoing certain hazardous materials (primarily chemicals) as early as yesterday, September 11: CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, and BNSF. At least for Union Pacific where we have gained access to the specific embargo information, it does not cover propane. If you are aware of any embargo of propane by a Class 1 railroad prior to September 16, please alert Steve Kaminski, NPGA President and CEO, at skaminski@nga.org immediately.