Canadian Pacific Railway Operations have been halted and workers closed on a labor dispute early Sunday, with each side blaming the other for the halt potentially disrupting shipping of essential goods at a time of soaring prices.
“We are very disappointed with this turn of events,” said Teamsters Rail Canada Conference spokesperson Dave Fulton. The union said in a statement that it had begun a nationwide strike over the dispute, which it says is affecting 3,000 engineers, conductors and yard workers.
Canada’s second largest rail operator has accused the union of distorting the company’s position, saying in a statement that Teamsters “were well aware of the damage this reckless act would do to the Canadian supply chain”.
Labor Secretary Seamus O’Regan Jr said CP and Teamsters are still at the negotiating table with federal mediators.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and we expect the two parties to continue working until they reach an agreement,” he said. tweet Shortly after midnight.
Canada, the largest country by area after Russia, is highly dependent on railways to Goods transport and manufactured goods to port. The CP network extends across most of southern Canada and as far south as Kansas City in the United States.
The shutdown is the latest blow to a battered supply chain in Canada, which last year was swept by floods in British Columbia that washed away the track and suspended access to Canada’s largest port. CB said the halt would disrupt the movement of grain, potash and coal.
CB notified the union on Wednesday that it would close staff on Sunday, unless it made a breakthrough in talks over a deal covering pensions, wages and benefits.
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She said the main negotiating issue was the union’s request to raise the pension ceiling. Chief Financial Officer Nadim Filani said at an investor conference in New York on Tuesday that the railroad was not prepared to accept that request.
Canada’s Nutrien said this week it may need to cut potash production at its mines in Saskatchewan if the shutdown lasts more than a few days.
The last major disruption to rail workers in the country was an eight-day strike by Canadian national railway operator CNR.TO in 2019. But in the past 12 years, there have been 12 stoppages due to bad weather, blockades or labor issues, according to it. Western Canada Agency. Wheat Growers Association.
(Reporting by Ann Maria Shipu in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Chicago; Editing by William Mallard and Guralkumar Anantharaman)
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