Looming CP Rail Disruption

Anna Woodmass

The Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, a group representing Canada’s manufacturing trade associations including the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association, issued the following statement on the looming labour disruption at CP Rail:

“Canadian manufacturers urge Canadian Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to reach an immediate agreement and avoid labour disruptions that would inflict serious harm to Canadian manufacturing and exporting operations.

Canadian manufacturers are some of the biggest users of rail transportation services. CP Rail is a critical link in manufacturing supply chains, and it is how we move our goods to markets across North America. Collectively, our industry employs over 1.7 million Canadians, makes up more than 10% of our GDP, and represents two-thirds of Canada’s value-added exports.

Given the many disruptions of the past year and the ongoing supply chain crisis, our industry cannot afford another major transportation network interruption. In a recent survey conducted by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), nine out of ten Canadian manufacturers are encountering supply chain issues, with over 60% 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 strike would seriously impact our global competitiveness, exacerbate supply chain problems, and drive away investment into Canadian manufacturing.

This situation must be avoided at all costs, and we implore both sides to reach an agreement now. Failing that, the federal government must signal its intent to intervene immediately to avoid a work stoppage, the further fracturing of supply chains, and another hit to Canadian manufacturing.”

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