Amtrak strike may derail an economy

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jan 14, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Amtrak strike may derail an economy

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jan 14, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Amtrak management and its unions are scheduled to resume contract talks this week. Workers are threatening to walk on January 30. Now if a strike happens, it wouldn’t just disable the inter-city train service up and down the northeast corridor. It could mean an economic hit for New York City. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Almost 200,000 people a day take the commuter railroad into Penn Station. Amtrak happens to own and run much of that railroad track.

Martin Robins teaches at Rutgers University’s transportation center. He says a strike would mean havoc for Manhattan-bound commuters.

Martin Robins: The workers that perform the various services that keep the commuter trains running would also recognize the strike, and there would be a total shutdown of the northeast corridor. The economic impact of that would be catastrophic.

But Ross Capon of the National Association of Railroad Passengers thinks a strike is unlikely. He says Amtrak will probably meet its unions’ demands — especially given the government’s position.

Ross Capon: They’re facing a Bush-appointed presidential emergency board that’s sided with the unions. Which is sort of an anomaly, I guess.

He does have one worry. He says Amtrak might claim it can’t placate the unions without cutting passenger services.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.