Prairie economies are hit by another strike that was started on Tuesday as unionized workers thousands in number at the Canadian National Railway Company which has been struggling with bottlenecks in logistics, inclement weather and trade woes.
CN conductors of around 3000 in number, train along with yard workers left the job and walked off after the negotiations in the contract that happened between the largest railroad operator in Canada and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference collapsed. the turn of events has threatened to delay the shipments of potash, grain, and oil throughout the country as the Prarie’s are poised to feel the impact of the biggest economic crisis.
According to Ramya Muthukumaran who is an RBC economist this is a bad time for the crisis to happen.
The disruptions in transport are going to affect the difference or gap that exists between the benchmark of oil-price in North America, Alberta’s Western Canada Select and West Texas Intermediate and it has happened in a time when the spread has been widening already due to shutdowns in the pipeline according to Muthukumaran.
Because of the workers strike in CN rail there has been a worry among grain shippers.
The picket lines are hit by the workers of the Canadian Pacific Railway and other major railroad companies of Canada for continuous nine days in the year 2012. It has been noted by
Muthukumaran there has been a decline of six percent in rail transportation from thereon. The current CN strike will impact and the intensity of it will depend on the number of days it lasts according to her.
The situation will be carefully monitored by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
In a statement given in an email, oilsands’ vice president Ben Brunnen that the concern of the oil industry regarding any development which negatively impacts the rail capacities availability.
An alarm has been sounded by producers of other communities regarding the prolonged delays in the possibility of shipment.
It has been urged by the commission for wheat and barley in Alberta by the federal government to get prepared so that they can intervene as it has been noted that there has been struggling among many farmers with the prices and the harvest condition which is poor.
Insult to injury has been added by the strike for the farmers from Alberta who are coping already with very heavy snowfall according to the chairman of Alberta Wheat Commission, Gary Stanford.
Many farmers have their income of large and significant amount that has been trapped under the snow. This is an indication that the grain that was managed and harvested would not get paid before the resumption of the service.
Every week there is an increase of 5,650 hoppers with CN, which is grains equivalent to half a million tonne and a massive backlog could be created if the strike action continues for a few days. This has been said in a joint press release that has been held by the two organizations.
Farmers will not get any payment and will not be able to deliver if the supply of those cars stops which has been tweeted in a statement note.
Harsh criticism has been faced by the Trudeau government in the West regarding the energy policies and the government has been urging Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and CN to continue with the negotiations.
Patty Hajdu, who is the labor minister saod that there is a grave concern on the part of the government regarding the stoppage of work and its impact on Canadians and they have remained hopeful that an agreement will be reached by the two sides.
Christopher Monette, who is the Union spokesman said that there have been talks going on with CN and they are hoping that the labor dispute ends at the earliest.
To avert the strike, efforts are made by the Government as it meets with the union and the CN rail.
A week of strike action fully might affect the GDP of Canada in the month of November and could shave off the GDP by 0.05 percent according to Muthukumaran. If the disruption continues for a longer period the effects, however, could be more lasting according to her.
It is still not very clear if and when will Trudeau’s minority government which has been newly elected give an order to the workers so that they get back to their respective job.
Under the parliamentary rules of Canada, any potential legislation to get back to work should be considered after electing a new speaker and the speech that came from the throne is already read. On December 5, the parliament of Canada is set to return currently.
It has been said by the union, that the demands are opposed by CN so that the time-off for the workers has been reduced and a lifetime cap has been imposed for coverage benefits of the drug, which includes other things as well.
On 31 December 2018, a total of 25,720 has been employed by CN. It has been said by the union that rail services for passengers in three of the biggest cities of the country as strikes left no impact on them.