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Canadian Pacific Railway Workers May Strike

As Canadian railways try to alleviate massive shipment issues, thousands could walk off the job April 21

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. could see thousands of workers walk off the job as soon as April 21 after the union representing conductors and locomotive engineers authorized strike action on Friday says a report at the Financial Post.

The union’s decision comes as Canada’s major railways work to alleviate a grain backlog that has infuriated many producers in Western Canada.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) representing CP workers said Friday that members voted 94.2% in favor of authorizing strike action. The union says its approximately 3,000 members could go on strike as early as 12:01 a.m. on April 21.

“Despite our best efforts to negotiate in good faith, we have come to a point where Teamsters are prepared to go on strike for the third time in six years to obtain a fair and reasonable contract renewal,” TCRC president Doug Finnson said in a statement released Friday.

Ian Boxall, vice-president of the Agricultural Producers’ Association of Saskatchewan, said the railways are already struggling to meet the delivery targets set out in light of the backlog and that any further disruptions — such as a union strike — could be “a huge disaster.”

“Both railroads only delivered 69% of cars ordered last week. They are not overachieving when it comes to getting rid of the backlog,” he said Friday. “Any hiccup in the rail system now is a huge disaster for Western Canada.”

Read the full report here.

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