Canadian National union members back at work

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Canadian National

FreightWaves is reporting that members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference at Canadian National went back to work today, with normal operations beginning at 6 a.m. local time. Yesterday, Canadian National announced that it had reached a tentative agreement with TCRC, which represents conductors, yard workers and trainmen. The agreement is “tentative” because it is subject to ratification by the union.

Although the strike by TCRC members against Canadian National “only” lasted a week, it had significant effects on the Canadian economy. For example, FreightWaves reports the Mining Association of Canada said yesterday that “The impacts felt by the week-long strike resulted in costly disruptions for Canadian mining companies, many of whom incurred significant impacts over the last seven days, including lost sales and customers . . . These impacts will continue to be felt for the foreseeable future as it takes approximately a week to move the backlog created per day of disrupted service.”

FreightWaves also reports that Nutrien, a Canadian producer and distributor of potash, nitrogen, and phosphate for industrial, feed and agricultural customers around the world, said because of the strike, it will have to shut down its largest potash mine, Rocanville, for two weeks beginning December 2. In a news release, Chuck Magro, president and CEO of Nutrien, said “It is extremely disappointing that in a year when the agricultural sector has been severely impacted by poor weather and trade disputes, the CN strike will add further hardship to the Canadian agriculture industry. Any further disruption will be harmful to our business, the Canadian economy, and Canada’s competitive position and reputation as a reliable supplier of fertilizer and food. However, most concerning is the impact on our hundreds of employees for whom this creates great uncertainty and hardship leading up to the holiday season.”

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