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Biden signs rail deal averting 'economic catastrophe'

SHOTLIST:RESTRICTION SUMMARY:US NETWORK POOLWashington, DC - 2 December 20221. President Joe Biden walks into White House Roosevelt Room2. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Biden, U.S. President:"Let me begin by thanking my team here. They did one heck of a job in averting what could have been a real disaster and and ended up with a good product. But we still have more work to do, in my view, in terms of ultimately getting paid sick leave, not just for rail workers, but for every worker in America. That is a goal I had in the beginning and I'm coming back at it. So good morning. The bill I'm about to sign ends a difficult rail dispute and helps our nation avoid what without a doubt would have been an economic catastrophe at a very bad time in the calendar. Our nation's rail system is literally the backbone of our supply chain, as you all well know. And so much of what we rely on is delivered on our rail, from clean water to food and gas and every other good. A rail shutdown would have devastated our economy. Without freight rail, many of the US industries would have literally shut down."3. Biden signs bill ++PARTIALLY COVERS SOUNDBITE ABOVE++4. Cutaway of press ++PARTIALLY COVERS SOUNDBITE BELOW++5. SOUNDBITE (English) Joe Biden, U.S. President:"And look, I know this bill doesn't have paid sick leave that these rail workers, and frankly, every worker in America deserves. But that fight isn't over. I didn't commit we were going to stop just because we couldn't get it in this bill that we were going to stop fighting for it. I've supported paid sick leave for a long time. I'm going to continue that fight till we succeed. I want to thank Congress, Democrats and Republicans for acting so quickly. I know this was a tough vote for members of both parties. It was tough for me, but it was the right thing to do at the moment to save jobs, to protect millions of working families from harm and disruption, and to keep supply chains stable around the holidays and to continue the progress we made and we continue to see on the economy."++WHITE FLASH++6. UPSOUND (English) Joe Biden, U.S. President, talking to reporters as he walks out of room:"(Reporter: How soon should rail workers expect sick days?)As soon as I can convince our Republicans to see the light."7. Biden walks out of roomSTORYLINE:President Joe Biden signed a bill Friday to avert a freight rail strike that he said could have plunged the U.S. into a catastrophic recession.At the White House, Biden signed a measure passed Thursday by the Senate and Wednesday by the House. It binds rail companies and workers to a proposed settlement that was reached between the railroads and union leaders in September but rejected by some of the union workers.The president, for decades a vocal union ally, called it the "right thing to do" given the risks to an economy that is battling high inflation."The bill I'm about to sign ends a difficult rail dispute and helps our nation avoid what without a doubt would have been an economic catastrophe at a very bad time in the calendar," said Biden, adding that his team helped negotiate a "good product, but we still have more work to do in my view."Members in four of the 12 unions involved had rejected the proposed contract as lacking sufficient paid sick leave. Biden acknowledged the shortcoming as he said he would continue to push for that benefit for every U.S. worker."I've supported paid sick leave for a long time," he said. "I'm going to continue that fight until we succeed." Rejection of the settlement had created the risk of a strike beginning Dec. 9, jeopardizing key shipments during the holiday season. Biden and Congress staved off a work stoppage by imposing the agreement on the rail companies and workers. A freight rail strike also would have a big potential impact on passenger rail since Amtrak and many commuter railroads rely on tracks owned by the freight railroads.The president said that a strike would have sunk the U.S. economy, causing roughly 765,000 job losses by rupturing supply chains. The president also hailed the jobs report released Friday, showing the nation’s employers kept hiring briskly in November despite high inflation and a slow-growing economy — a sign of resilience in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.The economy added 263,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate stayed 3.7%, still near a 53-year low, the Labor Department said Friday. Biden said the report shows the economy "continues to grow" and is "moving in the right direction."===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory.
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