customs brokerage, freight forwarding and truck transportation

No Latent Capacity in the System: CP

: Transport

CP to “Safely Wind Down” Operations in Anticipation of Strike Deadline 2018-04-19

In an April 18 labour update to customers, John Brooks, Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer at CP Rail, said that overnight, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Train & Engine (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) issued 72-hour notice to strike at 12:01 am Eastern time on April 21.
On April 11, CIFFA wrote to four federal ministers, 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, urging the Government of Canada to take immediate action to ensure that Canada’s cargo moves during this challenging time.
CIFFA 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 urged the Government of Canada to take any necessary action to keep the railroad operating, whether through mediation, binding arbitration or any other means.
"Canadians must have certainty in our intermodal marine transportation, and in the labour forces at our railroads. Canada’s railroads should in fact be deemed essential services,” said Executive Director Ruth Snowden.
In his update yesterday, Brooks echoed concerns about the impacts to customers and commodities:
“Given the challenging winter, increased demand across commodities and struggles of others in the transportation supply chain, the environment is such that there is no latent capacity in the system and recovery from a work stoppage, of any length, will be prolonged. All customers and commodities would be impacted at a time when demand is soaring. U.S. service will also be severely impacted, but we will do everything we can to mitigate these effects,” Brooks said.
“CP has been working closely with both the TCRC and the IBEW to reach a negotiated settlement in the best interests of the entire CP family, customers, shareholders and the broader North American economy. Any agreement must protect the current and future needs of customers and continue to allow us to provide reliable, low-cost service that you can depend on in the marketplace. The issuance of a strike notice is a required part of the bargaining process that would allow the unions to strike. Despite this, we remain committed to achieving a win-win solution and urge both unions to work closely with us and the federal mediators to achieve a positive outcome as soon as possible. Throughout the week, we will also be preparing to safely wind down our operations in anticipation of the April 21 strike action,” he added.
CP said it has been and continues to be committed to fair and equitable bargaining with both the TCRC and IBEW. Efforts have been made “to build on the momentum created with the patterned framework that led to the successful negotiation of long-term collective agreements on both sides of the border.”
During a conference call yesterday to present CP's Q1 financial results, President and CEO Keith Creel said that any work stoppage, whether it's for a day or a week, would have an impact on customers and the economy. Creel noted that he has spoken with the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Labour; both are encouraging the parties to reach a settlement.
In the meantime, said Mr. Creel, customers should develop contingency plans to move their cargo in case the strike happens.

Source: CIFFA


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