Cowen analysts on Wednesday said the possibility of the first U.S. rail strike since 1991 is currently at about 30% after statements earlier this week from union members. “Channel checks suggest that customers are already pulling freight off the rails as strike risk rises,” analyst Jason Seidl said in a research note. Back in September when a potential work stoppage had loomed ahead of the midterm elections, Seidl projected a roughly 15% chance of a rail strike. While Congress appears motivated to intervene if a strike takes place, Seidl said he’s seeing “clear stubbornness from both sides that is likely increasing animosity” and that strike sentiment appears to be growing and shippers are taking action. The president of the Association of American Railroads said Monday, “The window continues to narrow as deadlines rapidly approach” and that the companies are ready to reach new agreements with unions. The association’s members work at Warren Buffett’s BNSF, Union Pacific Corp.
and Norfolk Southern
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