WASHINGTON — On July 15, President Joe Biden signed an executive order, creating a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to help resolve a dispute dating back to 2020, between major railroads and their unions, representing 115,000 rail workers. The board became effective July 18.

The board will prohibit a strike from occurring for 30 days while the PEB investigates the dispute. The objective is to maintain America’s freight rail system and deliver items that communities, farms and businesses rely on, said a statement from the White House.

“Keeping supply chains running means keeping America’s railways running,” the White House said.

Ira Jaffe will act as chair of the PEB, and Barbara C. Deinhardt and David Twomey will also serve as members of the board. All three have experience in resolving labor disputes.

“We are pleased that President Biden has followed precedent and named a PEB comprised of highly experienced and respected arbitrators to help all parties find a reasonable path forward,” said Ian Jefferies, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads. “An agreement that allows both our hardworking employees and the industry to thrive into the future remains possible.”