Industry Leaders in Canada Urge Federal Government to End CN Rail Strike
About 3,200 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers walked off the job on Tuesday, Nov. 19, after negotiations on a new contract with the railway were unsuccessful.
Nov. 21, 2019 - Pressure is mounting on the federal government to reconvene Parliament ahead of schedule and put a stop to the CN Rail strike, as industry groups tally up potential losses resulting from the work stoppage and raise concerns about the harm caused to the country's reputation abroad.
About 3,200 conductors, trainpersons and yard workers walked off the job on Tuesday (Nov. 19) after negotiations on a new contract with the railway were unsuccessful.
The workers, who have been without a contract since July 23, say they're concerned about long hours, fatigue and what they consider dangerous working conditions.
Talks continue between CN Rail and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, although the impact is already being felt by many industries that rely on rail service.
Leaders from a variety of sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing, are urging the federal government to bring in back-to-work legislation.
Some chemical facilities began shutting down their operations as early as Friday in advance of the work stoppage, and the larger companies are losing more than $1 million per day because of the strike, according to the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada.
"This is very significant," said association president Bob Masterson in an interview.
The chemical industry provides supplies to other industries such as the mining, forestry and automotive sectors. Chemicals are also used by many cities to provide clean drinking water and to treat sewage.
Most chemical production facilities are unable to store more than a few days' worth of their products, which is why many had to halt production so soon.
There have been too many disruptions in rail service in the last decade, according to Masterson, because of other work stoppages and poor winter weather.
"This has to be resolved in a very timely manner," said Masterson, about the CN Rail strike. "Canada is earning a very poor reputation in its ability to serve the global market, and this isn't helping."
Read the complete story at CBC: www.cbc.ca/news/business/cn-rail-barley-chemicals-strike-stoppage-1.5365299