Negotiations between thirteen rail unions, representing 145,000 rail workers, and two freight carriers, BNSF and Union Pacific, have broken down after two years of attempting to re-negotiate their collective bargaining agreements that expired in 2015.  Negotiations have stalled over the issues of pay increases and health care costs. Under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act of 1926, which seeks to prevent any interruption in rail service due to strikes, the parties will now proceed to mediation with a mediator assigned by the National Mediation Board, the agency administering the Railway Labor Act.

See As railroad business declines, talks with unions for Nebraska workers screech to a halt (by Russell Hubbard, Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 9, 2017)