DETROIT — Canadian Teamsters and CP Rail blamed one another for a work stoppage Sunday that introduced trains to a halt throughout Canada and interrupted fertilizer and different shipments to and from the U.S.
More than 3,000 Canadian Pacific Rail conductors, engineers, prepare and yard employees represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference are off the job after each side couldn’t attain a deal by a midnight deadline.
Both sides say they’re nonetheless speaking with federal mediators.
covers a lot of the U.S. Midwest and is a big shipper of potash and fertilizer for agriculture. It additionally carries grain from the U.S. to its northern neighbor for home use and exports. The railroad serves the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and different states, in keeping with a map on its investor web site. CP additionally operates in New England and upstate New York, spokesman Patrick Waldron stated.
CP says it’s the main provider of potash, a plant nutrient used within the manufacturing of a number of crops. The firm says in investor paperwork that it carries 70% of the potash produced in North America, all from mines in Saskatchewan.
The railroad says it additionally carries fertilizers, together with phosphate, urea, ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia. About half its fertilizer shipments originate from processing vegetation in Alberta.
CP received 29% of its 2020 freight income from cross-border shipments between the U.S. and Canada, its investor web site stated.
A prolonged interruption of fertilizer shipments could harm U.S. farmers, who’re nearing the spring planting season. The work stoppage could additionally exacerbate present provide chain bottlenecks within the U.S. and Canada that stem from the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. trains weren’t affected by the work stoppage, however the railroad can not make shipments between the 2 nations, Waldron stated.
On Saturday, the Teamsters stated in a press release that the corporate had locked the employees out, however later issued one other assertion saying the employees have been additionally on strike.
The authentic assertion posted to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference web site late Saturday stated the union needed to proceed bargaining however the firm “selected to place the Canadian provide chain and tens of hundreds of jobs in danger.″
“As Canadians grapple with a endless pandemic, exploding commodity costs and the struggle in Ukraine, the rail provider is including an pointless layer of insecurity, particularly for individuals who rely upon the rail community,″ the assertion stated.
CP Rail, Canada’s second-largest railroad operator, stated it was the corporate that needed to maintain speaking, and the union that pulled its workers off the job.
CP President Keith Creel stated in a information launch the union “failed to reply″ to a brand new supply introduced by mediators earlier than the midnight deadline.
“Instead, the TCRC opted to withdraw their providers earlier than the deadline for a strike or lockout could legally happen,″ he stated. “The TCRC is properly conscious of the harm this reckless motion will trigger to the Canadian provide chain.″
Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan urged the 2 sides to maintain bargaining.
The Canadian and U.S. provide chains additionally have been hit by trucker convoy protests blocking border crossings in February, and now are coping with the consequences, notably on international gas provides, of the Russian invasion in Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies.
All the disruptions pushed inflation to its highest stage for the reason that early Nineteen Eighties, with necessities similar to meals and gas dealing with a number of the sharpest worth hikes.
CP and the union have been negotiating since September, with wages and pensions a sticking level. A clause on the place workers take their federally mandated break intervals can be a problem.
CP Rail says that is the fifth work stoppage since 1993.