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Can a crippling U.S. rail strike be avoided?

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A nationwide strike set for Dec. 9 could devastate the economy just before Christmas

On Tuesday U.S. President Joe Biden expressed confidence that a dispute between labor unions and the country’s freight railroads can be resolved.

“Congress, I think, has to act to prevent it,” Biden said. “It’s not an easy call, but I think we have to do it. The economy is at risk.”

The President made the remarks when he briefly spoke to reporters back at the White House following the long Thanksgiving holiday.

Over the weekend, online Black Friday sales in the United States topped a record-breaking $9.12 billion this year.

Despite inflation and other economic concerns, retail experts say it’s a solid start to the holiday shopping season.

During a meeting with Congressional leaders, President Biden discussed future legislative priorities for the lame duck session.

He also told top lawmakers that the looming railroad strike has to be a top priority.

When asked if he was confident that a rail strike would be averted, Biden replied, “I am confident.”

The President made those remarks before a nationwide railroad strike that could ultimately cripple the economy just days before Christmas.

Business groups from across the U.S. are calling on for Congress to take immediate action to avoid a strike set for Dec. 9.

Currently, a coalition of 449 organizations led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said lawmakers need to act before the strike deadline so they can prevent any work stoppage.

If the Biden administration and Congress fail—officials say it could cost the economy an estimated $2 billion per day, making inflation even worse.

Back in September, the Biden administration mediated a tentative agreement between the unions threatening a strike and the railroad companies. The agreement gave rail workers a 24% wage increase from 2020 through 2024 and sign-on bonuses. However, many union rail workers oppose the deal because it lacks sick time, does not address quality-of-life issues, and has laborers working on skeleton crews.

In order to avert a potential work stoppage, all 12 unions involved in negotiations must ratify their new agreements. So far, four unions voted against Biden’s proposal and are waiting for a new deal.

Veronica Dudo is the U.S. Correspondent for Ticker News covering America’s biggest headlines. As an Emmy® Award nominated global journalist, Veronica has traveled across the country and around the world reporting on historical events that connect all citizens. Lauded as an award-winning international journalist, Veronica has executed stellar news coverage for NBC News, CBS News, The Hill, ME-TV Network and AOL. Her stories have highlighted a plethora of topics ranging from breaking news and politics to economic affairs across the USA, European Union, and Asia; cultural affairs; globalization; governance; education; and sustainability.

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Eisman identifies infrastructure as key investment opportunity

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Famed investor Steve Eisman, has shifted his focus to infrastructure, citing three main reasons.

 

The pandemic-induced shift towards onshore investment, the rise of AI necessitating data centre expansion, and the global push towards greener energy.

Eisman believes these trends offer a decade-long opportunity for investors, with Australia presenting ample opportunities for market participation.

Notable companies to consider for exposure include BlueScope and James Hardie Industries for building materials, Macquarie Technology and Goodman Group for data centres, and Worley, AGL Energy, and Origin Energy for electricity grid upgrades and green infrastructure.

However, Eisman cautions investors to approach utility investments carefully, considering their capital expenditure budgets in renewable energy and grid upgrades.

 

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Civil War cinema brings in the box office dollars

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Alex Garland’s film “Civil War” has made a significant impact at the box office, surpassing expectations with a $25.7 million opening weekend in North America.

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, and Cailee Spaeny, the film explores a near-future scenario where California and Texas unite against a president’s authoritarian regime. Despite fictional elements, “Civil War” has sparked widespread discussion, with its themes resonating in today’s political climate. The film’s performance, coupled with positive reviews, suggests a promising trajectory in the coming weeks, bolstered by a relatively quiet release schedule.

You can catch the trailer here

 

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Oil likely to see hike following Iran’s Israel attack

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Global oil markets are poised for potential disruption as tensions escalate in the Middle East following Iran’s recent attack on Israel.

The attack, which targeted key infrastructure, has raised concerns about the stability of oil supplies in the region.

Experts predict that the incident could lead to a spike in oil prices as investors react to the heightened geopolitical risk. #ticker today #featured

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