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Germany In Discussion With Allies Over Patriot Delivery To Ukraine; Potential Rail Strike Poses Threat To U.S. Economy; Rail Unions Reject White House Brokered Deal To Avert Strike; Soon: U.S. And England To Face Off In World Cup Match. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 25, 2022 - 12:30   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: That would give Russia time to regroup. You say Ukraine absolutely needs to avoid that. Why?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Absolutely, absolutely. Because for Ukraine a ceasefire gives Russia the chance to rebuild its military. It takes away the urgency of providing support that is motivating NATO. And it leads to -- since there's no change in Putin's intent, it just postpones and leads to a more difficult conflict later on.

Now, this is a two-pronged strategy, by Russia, on the one hand, to destroy the infrastructure so that the Ukrainians have to take the ceasefire, because otherwise our population can't survive. And then at the same time, to keep the pressure on militarily in Donbas and elsewhere, while they build up their forces.

And then, as Ukrainians have said, next spring, next summer, going to be another fight. So what the West has to do is help Ukraine rebuild that infrastructure, provide as much air defense as possible, and continue and even accelerate its delivery of military hardware to Kyiv so Kyiv can keep the pressure on this broken Russian force and forced them out. That's the only real solution, is to get Russia out of Ukraine entirely.

HILL: In terms of those air defense system, NATO Secretary General said on CNN this morning, it's time to further step up, in his words, talking about NATO members, they're saying Ukraine needs to be able to shoot and they do need more of those air defense systems -- they need those air defense systems in Ukraine. Is the calculus among NATO members, do you believe it's starting to change?

CLARK: Yes, it is starting to change. And they recognize more and more that this is their fight. Germany is still the major question mark. But the real problem with the air defense, Erica, is that there simply isn't stockpiled air defense systems. And so, if -- to get them into Ukraine, you have to build them anew, or you have to take them from other countries that are increasingly reluctant to give them up.

And the Patriot systems which the United States has, and we don't have that many of them, but they are complex, they're difficult to operate, they have to be maintained. People have to be trained to use them. So this should start now, but we're still looking at like a 12-month period. So this is something that has to be looked at.

We're going to have to accept the fact that this war, if Ukraine is to win, it succeed in maintaining its territorial integrity, as Secretary Austin has said they must do. This is not going to be over in the next month, two months, three months, four months. This is a longer-term commitment. And NATO nations are going to have to accept it and prepare for it.

HILL: Especially as you point out that this is not even if we were to get a yes, let's say, on sending those air defense systems in. It's not that you flip a switch. If this is a 12-month process, there's a lot more to it also, in terms of training as I've heard from other officials.

I'm curious too, when you talk about the stockpile for, for example, the Patriot air defense systems, we're also hearing about stockpiles in other nations that have been helping Ukraine where those countries including the U.S. are worried about their own stockpiles. How is that starting to figure in?

CLARK: Well, which countries are going -- just like the United States is, it's time to mobilize the industrial bases and start really producing as though there's going to be a conflict. Really, this is an important component of deterrence. If the Western nations would mobilize industrially and accelerate their production more than they have, this would be a strong signal to Russia, that this conflict is not going to end the way Russia wants it to end by disconsolate and broken European Union that says, OK, we're out of ammunition, go ahead and take the green.

What we've got to do is establish deterrence is this conflict is going on. That deterrence is partly done by proclamation and a proclamation so far, good. But it's also done by concrete facts and reestablishing wartime level production is one of those facts that could be very important in signaling and creating deterrence.

HILL: General Wesley Clark, always appreciate your insight. Thank you.

CLARK: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: A devastating real strike could hot this holiday season. One of the union's key -- the nation's rather, key union leaders, will join me next.



HILL: A potential rail strike could start early next month, which of course is really just days away, shutting down crucial supply chains costing the U.S. economy a whopping $2 billion a day. Rail unions have rejected the deal brokered by the White House. The President was asked about his role in the negotiations yesterday.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My team has been in touch to all parties, in rooms with the parties. And I have not directly engaged yet because they're still talking.


HILL: Joining me now is Dennis Pierce, he's the President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. Dennis, good to see you today. Back in September, President Biden was celebrating a tentative labor deal. Obviously, that didn't hold up. Where we are now? We just heard the President say seeming to choose his words very carefully. He's not engaged directly. Should he be? Would it help? Would it change anything?

DENNIS PIERCE, PRES. BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND TRAINMEN: Well, I think it's important to note that there are 12 rail unions that had to get a contract settlement. We've been at the table for three years this month actually, we'd started three years ago.


The four unions that are still without an agreement did reach a tentative agreement. They did vote that to their membership. The folks across the camp from us, the engineers that we represent smart transportation, they narrowly defeated the agreement or said, no, our membership narrowly said yes. So even with our agreement ratifying and the others back at the table, those votes are an indication of the discontent that's out there in the nation's railroads right now.

HILL: Yes. And as you point out in your unit alone, well, you did vote to ratify it. It was very close. So many of your members did vote no. What are their main concerns? What are the unresolved sticking points?

PIERCE: Well, if you go back a little bit in time, the railroads adopted new business strategies for the sake of their profit margin several years ago, that basically is built on fewer employees doing more work. To accomplish that, they furloughed a third of their workforce, pre-pandemic. They then furloughed more during the pandemic.

When the economy came back, they were ill equipped to staff for it. So they implemented what we would call draconian attendance policies forcing people to work more than they could or would. One Western carriers lost upwards of 1,000 employees. The whole industry is now short staffed, and those employees have had about enough of the way they're being treated.

So there's no shock to me as to how these votes came out. We have to do something to improve the lifestyle and quality of life of these jobs if we're going to continue to hire for them.

HILL: And look, people across America depend on you. So I think more people are tuning in to these very real issues that you're dealing with. You know, I've noticed that you've said, look, there is a role for Congress here, Congress really could step in. What could Congress do?

PIERCE: There's a lot of speculation on whether they'll step in and what they would do if they did. The last time they got involved in one of these negotiations was 31 years ago in 1991. And much like then, now we have been to a presidential emergency board. That's a non- binding panel that made a recommendation that most of these agreements have been crafted based on.

Congress could impose that, they could impose what failed, they could get into a deeper if they choose to. That's all speculation on the role Congress might pay play if they do get involved.

HILL: What do you anticipate is going to happen here?

PIERCE: Well, I know personally, the folks that are still at the table. We've been in communication. I can't speak to how. Whether they're making any progress, I know that everything they've asked for is something that the railroads can only afford to do with the record profits that they've driven off of this business model they're using. But it's also the right thing to do for the employees.

The idea that our folks go to work 24/7, 365 on call, no days off, our agreement will help establish certain days off for some of those folks, so it'll be a step in the right direction. But there's so much more to be -- the idea that you can't get the time off when you're sick or you're tired or to take care of your family without getting fired for taking it just got to end.

HILL: I think that's one of the things that stood out to a lot of people in the last couple of months is more of this was coming to light that time to go to the doctor. We even heard a lot about.

Dennis Pierce, really appreciate you joining us. We'll -- we will stay on top of it. Thank you.

PIERCE: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: Just ahead here, the countdown is on. Just a little over an hour until this epic World Cup match, USA versus England. Who you're rooting for? Stay with us.

But first, the holiday season is here. With that season, treasured celebrations and traditions of course that make it so special including all of those holiday films and TV specials. And this year, CNN has a unique look at all of your favorites. The new CNN original series special event, "Tis the Season: The Holidays on Screen" is unwrapping the most memorable, festive moments of those holiday classics new and old, and exploring why these stories continue to delight audiences everywhere. Here's preview.


TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Christmas movies and television specials are always about someone who has lost their faith in humankind, regaining it.

PHIL ROSENTHAL, CREATOR, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: Christmas story is one of the best movies about nostalgia, family and Christmas.

SARA SIDNER, JOURNALIST, CNN: I watch it every year at least twice. It's the script of my life.

RAMI MALEK, ACTOR: It's hard to beat "Home Alone."

DAVID E. TALBERT, WRITER/DIRECTOR: Just have fun in high jinks. It is on the Mount Rushmore of holiday movies.

RON HOWARD, DIRECTOR: I lost myself in "Miracle on 34th Street."

ALONSO DURALDE, FILM CRITIC/AUTHOR: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" was capturing how the holidays make us all insane.

BEN MANKIEWICZ, HOST, TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES: There is that consistent Christmas element in "Elf" of change, of realization.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Watch a good Christmas show? It doesn't matter when it was made. These ideas don't get old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unwrap the stories behind everything we love to watch in Christmas. a two-hour special event. "Tis the Season: The Holidays on Screen," Sunday at 8:00 on CNN.




HILL: Soccer fans bracing for a major World Cup showdown. Just about an hour from now, Team USA set to take on England. The men's American team tied in its first match against Wales on Monday. England triumphed over Iran six goals to two. So on your screen here, what you see some very happy English fans celebrating after that win.

CNN's Andy Scholes, he had a really rough assignment today. I'm sorry you drew the short straw, my friend. We sent you to a bar, you're at a pub in Atlanta, you know, feel good story. It's a little loud in there I had to the match.


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Erica, I tell you what, people have been here since 9:00 a.m. in order to get a seat here at Irish hub (ph) in Atlanta. And I tell you what, the capacity here is around 600. There is a line wrapped around the building of hopeful fans hoping that some of the Netherland fans will leave and they can get in here to be a part of the party.

Because, you know, ever since the draw was announced a long time ago, Black Friday 2:00 p.m. Eastern against England's been circled on all soccer fans calendars, and I walked around and talked a lot of these fans, they can't wait for kickoff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm excited that it's here, man. You know, it's a good rematch that we've had. There was a lot of blunders from England the last time we played. So it's going to be a good game.

I think there's still a lot of -- there's a lot of thrills coming in. There's a lot of thrills coming in for this game that people aren't expecting. So I'm ready for it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's awesome. I'm so excited. They didn't give us a chance in the Revolutionary War. And here we are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They missed out the last time. We're so excited. And just need a result today, really just a win the last group stage to make it through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm saying 2-1 U.S. I'm going with a 90-minute winner. We're up in there, right. It's going to be the last five minutes we're going to get a winner. I promise you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to win, 2-1. Let's go USA.



SCHOLES: So Erica, as you can see, a lot of bands, U.S. bands confident, maybe irrationally confident. They're pointing to the 1776 Revolutionary War. A lot of them told me, we won in 1950 and pulled off the upset. So they certainly are hopeful. I'm hoping that many of them pace themselves because they've been here for a long time in order to get this scene. And I'm hoping they can see it until the end of the game.

HILL: Yes. Do you think that could have been their liquid confidence talking? I mean, look, I'm all for rooting for Team USA. But I'm with you, it's a lot of confidence there. Are there any England fans there in the pub?

SCHOLES: Oh, yes, yes, yes, there's pockets of them here and there. Yes, I see a lot of England jerseys as I look around right now. And they were actually -- they were going back and forth here. This is an Irish hub. They were playing some English song, then they would play like "Born in the USA." It was kind of like a duel at halftime of the Netherlands Ecuador game. So I can't wait for kickoff. It's going to be rowdy.

HILL: It's almost like you're at a dueling Piano Bar, Andy Scholes. Have a good time. Make sure you pace yourself too, my friend, OK?

SCHOLES: CNN's Don Riddell is live in Qatar at the site of the U.S.- England match. It's a little quieter where you are, but I'm guessing inside it may not be so quiet, Don.

DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST, WORLD SPORT: Yes, I think we're just one of those parts of the stadium where the fans go in somewhere else. So it's very calm and peaceful and serene here. But I have just in the last couple of minutes seen both the England and USA team buses drive past. And that certainly got my heart going pitter-pat, is starting to feel very, very close now.

And I think as Andy was saying, from the moment this draw was made, this was identified as arguably the game of the group stage, so much anticipation. The American team has improved so much over the last few years, and specifically the American players, many of whom now play in the Premier League. So these guys all know each other. I think this is going to be a really ,really intense match.

HILL: I thought it was interesting. The captain for Team USA Tyler Adams previewed the match yesterday. I want to play that for our viewers.


TYLER ADAMS, CAPTAIN, USA MEN'S SOCCER TEAM: I think England are currently one of the favorites to win the World Cup. I think that in a lot of games, people would probably say that we're the underdogs. But we carry that with pride. It doesn't mean anything to us to be underdogs. To be fair, it's --


HILL: Look, sometimes it's good to be the underdog, right? You want a little element of surprise. What is the sense there in Qatar of how this could end up?

RIDDELL: Well, if you look at the way this World Cup has gone so far, it's been one upset after the other. I was in the stadium to watch Lionel Messi and Argentina take on lonely Saudi Arabia and the Saudis beat them 2-1. The next day, I was lucky enough to be at another upset when Japan came from behind to beat Germany, the four-time world champion.

So, this has been one of those tournaments, where the upsets are now becoming expected. And so perhaps that's an omen for the United States team. But, by the way, they have never lost to England at the World Cup. In 1950, they humiliated England by beating him in that tournament. Then in 2010, the two of them played to a draw.

So, you know, if anything, the English should be taking this one more seriously than their fans are, that the English fans are just overwhelmingly confident. They are fully expecting to win this game. But we'll see. But it is a fascinating match, it's a fascinating culture clash. Is it going to be soccer or football that wins? Is it played on a field or a pitch? Is it nil or zero?

Is it a tie or is it a draw? I feel like that's the kind of culture clash that this game is bringing out between two teams and two sets of fans who are both --

HILL: Yes.

RIDDELL: -- very, very passionate.


HILL: Absolutely. I mean thank God for Ted Lasso to helping educate us all on this side of the Atlantic so that no matter which term is used, we know what's going on.


HILL: Don, great to see you. Appreciate it. Thanks. Enjoy the match.

RIDDELL: All right.

HILL: Thanks to all of you for joining us this hour. I'm Erica Hill. Stay tuned, CNN Newsroom with Boris Sanchez is up next.