EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As a second potential labor deal between railroad unions and President Biden’s administration was rejected, the potential for an impending strike draws closer. UTEP economics professor Tom Fullerton explained how this could increase inflation, especially with the upcoming holidays.

Fullerton expects that if there is a strike, while most shipments have already arrived, the ones for late November and December will be affected. The products that would have to be shipped out will have to find a different way to reach their destination, whether that be by plane or cargo truck, which will cost more.

As that date nears, the supply chain is expected to suffer.

“This would turn into another supply chain disruption and that will further exacerbate, let’s see, the function of the economy and raise inflation and that might be, let’s see, the most disappointing thing of all for consumers.”

As both groups are firm on their negotiation terms, Fullerton believes the likelihood that a strike does ensue is minimal but that is not to write off that possibility just yet.

“If I had to lay odds on it, I would say there’s a 40 percent chance that the strike occurs which means there’s a 60 percent chance that it doesn’t occur, so right now the odds are in our favor but it’s definitely not a done deal in terms of a negotiated resolution.”

Negotiations will continue between the two groups but if they do not reach an agreement by Nov. 19, a strike could be the end result.

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