News

IME Calls for Continued Freight Rail Service Amidst Potential Strikes

09/16/2022

 
 
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
 
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Charles Schumer
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
 
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:
 
On behalf of the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), I write today to draw attention to a critical
matter affecting the continuity of freight rail service for our essential industry and many others throughout
the U.S. economy.
 
IME represents the nation’s manufacturers, distributors and users of commercial explosive materials,
many of whom rely heavily on freight rail service to move products safely, securely, and efficiently. As
the nation begins undertaking the important work outlined in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”
(IIJA), access to the tools that make that work possible is paramount. Building our nation’s infrastructure,
including roads, bridges, electric transmission lines, energy production and critical mineral extraction,
begins with the use of explosives. Simply put, our industry will play an essential role in modernizing
American infrastructure. Without consistent access to freight rail, our ability to do so may be severely
constrained.
 
As the potential for a railway strike draws near, our members are working to ensure contingency plans are
in place should a strike occur. Some freight railroads have indicated that they will begin to curtail
shipments of HAZMAT materials this week. Should an agreement between the railroads and rail labor
unions appear unlikely by the end of the “cooling off” period, Thursday, September 16th, IME requests
that Congress use all available options to resolve any remaining disputes and avoid what could become,
when compounded with existing supply chain issues, inflation, and two years of global pandemic, an
economic catastrophe.
 
I urge you and your colleagues to work with all rail stakeholders to ensure freight rail service continuity.
As America continues to rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic, a halt to commerce now, at this
scale, would surely be a setback we cannot afford.
 
Thank you for your time and attention to this critical issue.
 
Best Regards,
J. Clark Mica
President