Stockpiles filling as rail strike drags on

Canadian Pacific Railway employees are still not back at work, more than a week since the strike started.

  • May. 30, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Canadian Pacific Railway employees are still not back at work, more than a week since the strike started.

Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has tabled back-to-work legislation to force an end to the strike by 4,800 Canadian Pacific Railway employees.

“Simply put, the strike can’t go on,” Raitt told the House of Commons on Monday.

“The work stoppage is preventing our ability to keep products moving in and out of Canada and that undermines Canada’s reputation as a reliable place to do business,” she said.

Earlier this week Raitt said she expects the railroad to be back in business by the end of the week, and had signalled that she was prepared to step in if a deal could not be reached between the union and the company.

She said the strike could cost the Canadian economy $540 million per week, as products such as wheat, coal and potash fail to reach their destinations.

“Although our economy is still recovering, it is still fragile and we have to ask whether or not for the nation’s good we can allow this work stoppage at CP Rail to continue,” Raitt said in Parliament Monday.

CP’s largest customer, Teck Resources Ltd., has no other way to get coal from the five local mines to port in Vancouver.

The company said it is currently stockpiling raw material, but if the strike goes on much longer they will be in trouble. Teck typically sends 650 railcars a day from the mines.

“They are our primary supplier to get our product to market, so obviously we need the rail lines to be running,” said Marcia Smith, Teck’s senior vice-president for sustainability and external affairs.

Smith wouldn’t predict what the long-term effect of the strike might be for Teck, but said she was happy that the Labour Minister had indicated she would table back-to-work legislation.

“We are just currently dealing with the situation on  a day-by-day basis,” Smith said. “Over the long term, obviously it’s a very fluid situation. We’re hopeful that the parties can get a resolution quickly.”

The 4,800 workers began a legal strike on Wednesday last week, walking off the job and shutting down CP’s freight service across the country.

CP said it was “disappointed” that a negotiated settlement couldn’t be reached to end the “unnecessary” strike, in a statement.

Just Posted

Big turnout to advance polls

On Saturday, general voting will be open to qualified electors from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Double loss sends Riders back to drawing board

Despite putting up a good fight against both Revelstoke and Creston, the… Continue reading

Gay minister challenges preconceptions

Andrea Brennan serves Fernie at pivotal time in church’s history

Documentary reveals Fernie’s role in WWI internment operations

That Never Happened to screen on 100th anniversary of Morrissey internment camp closure

Environmental monitoring meeting in Elkford tonight

Meeting to focus on environmental monitoring programs at Teck coal mines in the Elk Valley

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

Prank pizzas delivered to B.C. mayor on election night

The fake orders happened throughout Victoria mayor’s re-election campaign

MLA to become Nanaimo’s next mayor, could weaken NDP’s grasp on power

Leonard Krog’s win will trigger a byelection when he gives up his provincial seat

Horvat nets OT winner as Canucks beat Bruins 2-1

Young Vancouver star had spirited scrap earlier in contest

Fernie SAR rescues mountain biker

The man sustained a neck injury while riding Today’s Special, a new trail in Fernie

Team Canada gold medal winners for first time in world curling championship

Team Canada earned gold in Kelowna at the 2018 Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship

Most Read