What will happen if there is a railway strike? (Tony Hatch - ABH Consulting)

20161212 Tonyhatch (Cropped)

People! There will be NO Railway strike! The very system is designed to prevent it; in the unlikely event I am wrong, any work stoppage will be VERY short. In any event, it (a strike) is NOT an investable event! The outcome is, of course – will rails be allowed to further deploy technological advancement, crew (size) consist, wage inflation, etc; and the political/economic/employment timing (as at the ports) couldn’t be worse for productivity and progress as rails try to stand up to government support for AV/EV competition. There have been letters urging calm intervention sent to the White House by the Chamber of Commerce (and the ATA!). But there seems to be a late week frenzy of fear over a strike, the last of which occurred in 1992 (yeah I was an analyst then) and lasted two days. See FreightWaves (and try to not get bogged down in the PSR blather): America's freight railroads are incredibly chaotic right now - FreightWaves. Bottom line, it’s the contract that matters, not the dispute. If there is a work disruption I will wear an Astros hat on camera and bang on a trashcan….also on this front:

  • The short CN strike ended in binding arbitration.
  • Dray drivers in Vancouver are threatening action over regulations.
  • And the (US) west coast port issue will become hotter soon – I do love the ILWU reason to reject automation at the ports (“we could be hacked by enemies”).