With possibility of strike beginning May 22, railways, union workers, shipping companies, and Canadian government considering all options

Karolina Mazur Featured, News, Uncategorized

Thousands of unionized workers at both of Canada’s major railways — Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) — have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike, which could begin as soon as May 22. This comes after months of negotiations over rest periods reached an impasse, following the expiry of the previous contract at the end of 2023.

A strike would cause significant disruptions to grain, potash, and coal exports, in particular, which rely on railways for transport across Canada. Concerned about the economic implications of a work stoppage, federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan has asked the Canada Industrial Relations Board to look at whether the strike might have safety implications, such as the supply of fuel to hospitals. The strike cannot start until the board makes its decision, with the Teamsters union confirming that they would comply with any order from the board.

Shipping companies are drawing up contingency plans, with exports possibly being rerouted through the U.S. to reach coastal ports. However, backlogs will be inevitable during a work stoppage, and an extended recovery would be needed should the strike not resolve in a few days. 

Please contact us at sales@canangroup.ca to explore how we can minimize disruption to your operations during a potential work stoppage.