train speeding through wheat fields

The Canadian Wheat Growers Association is calling on the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Labour, to demonstrate leadership by resolving an imminent union-led strike on the nation’s railways.

Daryl Fransoo, the association’s chair, stressed the critical need for ministerial intervention to negotiate a settlement between the railways and their unions.

The association has sent two communications to both the minister and the Canadian Industrial Relations Board over the past several weeks to outline the dire consequences a rail strike could have on the agricultural sector, specifically affecting grain exports and the broader national economy. Their calls have yet to be answered.

The looming strike by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members could disrupt the transport of essential supplies like fertilizers and grains, crucial during this important growing season.

Such disruptions threaten the livelihoods of Canadian farmers and the food security of the nation, as well as Canada’s standing as a dependable supplier in the global market.

Fransoo has voiced the agricultural community’s concerns and has pledged to keep up efforts to secure immediate government action.

The Wheat Growers Association continues to engage with key policymakers to ensure they are fully aware of the potential impacts of the rail strike. Their advocacy is crucial in safeguarding an industry pivotal to Canada’s economy and the well-being of its people.

On May 29, CPCK issued the following statement:

“This week, both CPKC and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) participated in a case management conference held by the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), to discuss the Minister of Labour’s referral regarding the maintenance of activities during a work stoppage.

The CIRB has extended the deadline for reply submissions from May 31, 2024 to June 14, 2024, and also directed the parties to provide comments on certain identified themes raised in the submissions filed by various interested stakeholders and affected organizations.

While it remains unclear how long it will take for the CIRB to issue a decision following the extended comment submission deadline, based on precedent, it is unlikely the parties will be in a position to initiate a legal strike or lockout before mid-July or later.”