Politics

President Biden signs bill into law averting rail worker strike

[The stream has ended. Read CNBC's coverage of Biden signing the bill here. An earlier version of this story is below.]

President Joe Biden signed a bill into law making a rail strike illegal, preventing workers from walking off the job weeks before the holiday season.

Despite his history as a pro-union politician, Biden ultimately called on Congress to intervene after negotiations stalled and union workers threatened to strike. The workers and companies had until Dec. 9 to reach an agreement before they vowed to strike, which the industry estimated would cost the U.S. economy $2 billion per day.

Biden said Thursday that he supports unions as much as ever, but as president of the United States, rather than a single senator from Delaware, it was his job to look out for all Americans. He said he has long been a proponent of paid sick leave — a main sticking point in the talks — and will still work to make it a right for all workers, not just rail workers.