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HomeNewsThousands Of CP Rail Staff Walk Off The Job Putting Additional Pressure...

Thousands Of CP Rail Staff Walk Off The Job Putting Additional Pressure On Supply Chains

UPDATE: Both parties have agreed to binding arbitration. Workers are back on the job.

KAWARTHA LAKES-Thousands of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) union members who work as engineers, conductors, trainpersons, and yardpersons have walked off the job.

TCRC members are already out at various Canadian Pacific locations and picketing throughout the night.

Wages, pensions and working conditions remain major stumbling blocks.

CP says the union did not respond to its latest offer.

“We are deeply disappointed that, in the final hours before a legal strike or lockout was to potentially occur, the TCRC Negotiating Committee failed to respond to the company’s latest offer that was presented to them by the federal mediators,” said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer. “Instead, the TCRC opted to withdraw their services before the deadline for a strike or lockout could legally take place. The TCRC is well aware of the damage this reckless action will cause to the Canadian supply chain.”

Fertilizer Canada is calling on the federal government to take immediate action to mitigate impacts on the fertilizer supply chain.

Officials say a disruption to essential rail service during the crucial spring seeding season will have devastating effects on farmers, the economy, and domestic and international food security.

“While Fertilizer Canada respects the collective bargaining process, we have reached a point where government must urgently act. Every day matters when it comes to government intervention to end the work stoppage.” said a press release issued today.

Fertilizer is the most important input for crops and is responsible for half of the world’s current food production. Spring seeding is four to six weeks away in Canada and even sooner in the United States. Due to poor rail service leading into the spring season, Fertilizer Canada members are two to three weeks behind inventories, and storage capacity at fertilizer production facilities is lower than normal. There is a brief window when farmers fertilizer their crops and they are counting on a timely supply of fertilizer to maximize their yields.

Canada cannot afford another disruption to our supply chain,” says Karen Proud, President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada. “75 per cent of all fertilizer in Canada is moved by rail. During the lead-up to spring seeding, every day, frankly every hour, counts. During this critical time our members rely on uninterrupted rail service to deliver their products to their farmer customers in Canada and into international markets.”

The agricultural sector is already experiencing supply challenges compounded by the war in Ukraine and cannot withstand anymore disruption according to Fertilizer Canada.

Meanwhile, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on Canada Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to come to an immediate agreement to end labour disruptions that they say would inflict serious harm to Canadian manufacturing and exporting operations.

“A work stoppage at CP Rail is the last thing Canadian manufacturers need. In fact, some manufacturers have already had to shut down their operation in anticipation of a strike or lockout. After months of economic hardship and successive supply chain disruptions that are beyond our control, we now find ourselves faced with a new threat. We have the power to stop this, and CP Rail, the union, and the government must act now” said Dennis Darby, President and CEO of CME.

In a recent survey conducted by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, nine out of ten Canadian manufacturers are encountering supply chain issues, with over 60 per cent rating the impact of these disruptions as either major or severe. In addition, Canadian manufacturers surveyed say they have lost about $10.5 billion in sales because of disruptions in the supply chain and are now experiencing nearly $1 billion in increased costs.

“Adding to our concern is the fact that a labour disruption at CP Rail will deal another blow to Canada’s reputation as a good place to do business and as a reliable supply chain partner. A work stoppage would seriously impact our global competitiveness, exacerbate supply chain problems, and drive away investment into Canadian manufacturing” added Darby.

“The federal government can no longer afford to be a bystander either, and we call on them to intervene if the impasse cannot be broken” concluded Darby.

“A CP work stoppage will bring additional uncertainty to fertilizer markets in the U.S.,” says Corey Rosenbusch, The Fertilizer Institute President and CEO. “The U.S. receives 86% of our potash imports from Canada, much of it by rail. We are in full support of our Canadian partners in calling on the federal government to take immediate action.”



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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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