April 12, 2018 – CIFFA (the Canadian Freight Forwarder’s Association), of which Canaan Transport is a member, has sent a letter to four federal ministers asking for their attention and intervention in a possible strike at CP Rail.

On April 11, CIFFA contacted the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, and the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, expressing concern and a sense of urgency regarding the movement of goods and intermodal marine transportation.

It underlined the potentially catastrophic impacts to Canada’s trade, to our ports and to our economy of the current labour negotiations at CP Rail and to urge the Government of Canada to take any necessary action to keep the railroad operating.

The union representing engineers and conductors employed with CP Rail voted to authorize strike action as early as April 21, according to an announcement made last week.

With a 92 percent margin in favour, the strike authorization affects 3,000 members across Canada and ‘a few hundred’ in the southeast corner of B.C., according to a Teamsters Canada Rail Conference spokesperson.

The last contract between the two sides expired at the end of December 2017, while a one-year ratification vote was rejected by union members in November after an initial agreement was struck a few months earlier.

The union argues that rising profits are based off cuts, layoffs, closures and working crews to the point of exhaustion, said a press release. Canaan Transport will continue to update its customers about a potential strike action.