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Biden signs executive order to keep rail freight moving

US President Joe Biden has ordered the establishment of a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) effective July 18 to help resolve an ongoing dispute between major freight rail carriers and their unions.

The board is to investigate and report on the dispute. Within 30 days of its establishment, the Board must deliver a report recommending how the dispute should be resolved.

From the date of creation of the Board until 30 days after the Board has submitted its report to the President, the rail carriers and unions are subject to a cooling-off period intended to keep them working toward a negotiated settlement.

President Biden named the three members of the Board. Ira F. Jaffe, a full-time arbitrator and mediator who primarily hears labour and employment and benefits disputes, will chair the PEB. The other two members are Barbara C. Deinhardt, an independent arbitrator who has served as chair of the New York State Employment Relations Board and New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, and David Twomey, a professor at Boston College who was a member in the past of other boards focused on rail and airline disputes.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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