Railroads, unions agree to "cooling off period" ahead of vote

(Washington, DC)  --  Railroads and labor unions have reportedly agreed to a "cooling off" period after reaching a tentative deal overnight to avert a strike.  The move is designed to prevent the first nationwide railway shutdown in three decades should the unions fail to ratify the deal as the agreement announced this morning now heads to union members for a vote.  Word of the deal came after 20 consecutive hours of intense negotiations between railroad unions, workers, the U.S. Labor Department and even the President himself.  He reportedly called negotiators around 9 pm Wednesday, something that some believe may have helped move the needle on talks.