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Biden says railways, freight workers reach deal to avert strike

President Biden said Thursday morning that a tentative labor deal has been hammered out between rail worker unions and freight railway companies to avert a strike that threatened to disrupt commuter and passenger train service and worsen supply-chain delays.

Biden said the tentative agreement would "keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruption of our economy." Rail workers will get better pay, working conditions, and health-care-cost "peace of mind," he said, while railways would win, too, because they will be able to "retain and recruit more workers." The agreement came after Amtrak said it was canceling long-distance passenger trains starting Thursday, ahead of a 12:01 a.m. Friday deadline for an agreement. Industry groups have halted some grain shipments.