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Industry NewsCanada calls for quick end to CP Rail strike amid fears of...

Canada calls for quick end to CP Rail strike amid fears of worsening commodities shortages: Reuters

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Canadian Pacific Railway halted operations and locked out workers over a labour dispute early on Sunday, with each side blaming the other for a halt that will likely disrupt the shipment of key commodities at a time of soaring prices, as reported by Reuters.

Minister of labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. said CP and Teamsters were still at the table with federal mediators.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and expect the parties to keep working until they reach an agreement,” he said in a tweet just after midnight.

Canada, the largest country by area after Russia, depends heavily on rail to move commodities and manufactured goods to port. CP’s network runs across much of southern Canada and extends as far south as Kansas City in the U.S.

Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada provided a statement to Grocery Business: “FHCP remains deeply concerned about the impact of a prolonged rail strike on overburdened supply chains already weakened by pandemic, extreme weather and Russia’s war on Ukraine,” explains Michael Graydon, CEO of FHCP.

“Our association has urged Ottawa to “pursue all avenues” to ensure the dispute ends quickly and successfully. Simply put, Canada’s rail network is a key driver of economic growth, particularly within the agriculture and food processing sectors. This disruption has already produced a myriad of challenges, including fertilizer availability to support a vital spring planting, following lower than average crop yields due to weather last year. It also presents logistical issues tied to getting products manufactured in Central Canada—food staples like pasta, cereals + household goods like garbage bags—into stores out west.

“From a consumer standpoint that will mean higher prices and reduced availability of food and consumer products, particularly if this impasse extends beyond a week. Longer-term, it will further damage our reputation internationally as a stable and consistent source of agriculture output, supported by a capable supply chain network.”

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