WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association, which was one of many groups to sign a letter sent Nov. 28 to congressional leaders urging Congress to take action to stop an impending rail strike, issued a second plea two days later.
“America’s baking industry now urgently calls on the US Senate to move forward with legislation to avert a rail stoppage,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the ABA. “In short: If a rail shutdown were to occur, consumers should expect to see empty sections of shelves in stores and fewer restaurant options.
“While our industry is making contingency plans, including attempting to source additional trucks and keeping additional stores of ingredients on-site, a stoppage would be catastrophic to many of our members. Bakers and their customers in the Midwest could face an especially dire situation, as many bakeries in America’s heartland rely solely on rail to receive ingredients, including flour, liquid sugars and sweeteners, and vegetable oil.“Additionally, medium-sized and small bakers — most of ABA’s member companies — could be forced to shut down facilities if they are not able to receive new ingredients by rail or truck, as they are not able to operate without extra ingredients on hand.”