The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued statements in support of congressional action to prevent a rail strike. Both organizations applauded the passage of legislation in the Senate to avoid what would have been a catastrophic shutdown of nation’s rail network.

NACD President and CEO Eric R. Byer issued a statement after the U.S. Senate voted to avert a rail strike, but failed to support workers’ call for paid sick leave. Byer said, “The economic consequences of this looming strike would have been felt by businesses and consumers across the country, particularly as we continue to face record-high inflation and unprecedented supply chain challenges. As one of the largest customers of freight rail in both volume and revenue, the chemical industry–including many NACD members–rely heavily on rail to ensure the timely shipment of products essential to the everyday lives of Americans.

“This week, members of Congress reached across the aisle and collaborated across chambers to avert a freight rail strike that would have devastated an already-limping U.S. economy and beleaguered supply chain. While NACD was disappointed that the Senate did not pass an amendment led by Sens. Sanders (I-VT) and Gillibrand (D-NY) to provide paid sick leave to rail workers, we are pleased that Congress worked in a bipartisan way to avert a strike.

“I raised the issue of sick time in an op-ed after hearing directly from NACD members about the challenges they have faced due to declining service in the rail industry brought on by reductions in the workforce. I continue to believe that freight rail service will continue to deteriorate until some wholesale changes take place in the industry, and NACD will continue to work with both parties in Congress as well as the executive branch and the rail industry to improve performance,” concluded Byer in his statement.

“We commend the Senate for quickly approving a bipartisan legislative solution that will prevent a major disruption of chemicals that are critical to everyday life,” said Chris Jahn, president and chief executive officer of the ACC. “We also thank the members of the House for their hard work earlier this week and President Biden for directly engaging with Congress to help find a solution.”

“This legislation puts one major problem to rest, but we’re certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to fixing the breakdown of the freight rail network,” he continued. “To get to the heart of the matter and prevent the next crisis, Congress and the Surface Transportation Board must address the root causes of rail service problems that continue to put the brakes on U.S. manufacturing.”

ACC stated that the country needs more effective freight rail policies. Specifically, the organization called on Congress and the Surface Transportation Board to adopt regulatory reforms to set clear service standards, track how well major railroads are performing for their customers, and provide greater access to competitive rail service through reciprocal switching. 

Learn more at and