The nation's railroads came to a screeching halt on Apr. 17 when rail union workers walked off their jobs in the first major strike since 1982. Auto makers and other shippers that depend heavily on rail service scrambled for alternatives. Congress and the Bush Administration, fearful of damage to the economy, hustled to write emergency legislation to end the strike.
The White House and lawmakers differ on how to resolve the three-year-long dispute over wages, work rules, and health benefits. Bush favors recommendations issued by a Presidential Emergency Board, which studied the problem. The unions reject that plan as too stingy, and some legislators favor taking a second look at the issue.