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Potential rail strike would impact prices in Central Ohio

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WOSU

While union representatives say they want to avoid a strike, the food sector was shaken by the idea of a national railroad shutdown especially now in the middle of peak harvest season. Economist and founder of Regionomics, Bill LaFayette said the ripples of the work stoppage will definitely be felt in our area.

“If it's going to be another crimp in the already crimped supply chain and so it'll put upward pressure on prices and perhaps more empty store shelves, “ said LaFayette.

He said as we ease into a post-Pandemic market, workers have the upper hand.

“And so workers across the economy are in a far stronger bargaining position than they were before. So this is just another example of higher wages being required to keep talent, “ LaFayette said.

The Association of American Railroads estimates a nationwide railroad work stoppage would cost the U.S. economy more than $2 billion per day and cause shipping containers to stack up at ports.

“At a local level, we have more than 500 rail workers in the 10 County metropolitan area. And so those folks will certainly be impacted and so will the workers who interface with them," LaFayette said.

Williams joined the WOSU newsroom from the WLKY-TV in Louisville, KY, where she was a reporter. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience. Contact Natasha at natasha.williams@wosu.org.