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Canada’s supply chain about to take another hit with looming CP Rail strike

An impending strike by unionised rail employees and CP Rail could disrupt parts of Canada’s already weakened supply chain, as well as have a significant impact on farmers across North America’s growing season this year.

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members voted on March 4 to call a strike by Wednesday if necessary.

The union’s most recent statement indicates that they want to achieve a tentative agreement with CP Rail, however there are still concerns to be resolved.

“If we cannot reach an agreement, then as noted we will seek assistance and seek a strike mandate from the membership at that time,” stated the latest TCRC press release.

It couldn’t come at a better time where we are already hit with record high inflation and gas prices. Farmers are also feeling a hit from the shipments of fertilizer they need as spring comes.

Fertilizer accounts for about 10-15% of CP’s business, which would be a further setback for farmers who are struggling to secure fertilizer supply this growing season. Nutrient, the world’s largest crop-nutrient provider, urged the Canadian government to intercede earlier this month.

“Fertilizer Canada and our members are greatly concerned with the looming CP strike,” President and CEO of Fertilizer Canada Karen Proud said last week in a press release

“The agriculture sector is already experiencing supply challenges compounded by the war in Ukraine and cannot withstand anymore disruption to the supply chain without severe consequences for farmers, food security in Canada and worldwide, and the Canadian economy.”

Approximately 75% of all fertilizer produced and used in Canada is moved by rail. 

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