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Federal government moves to push back possible rail strike

Federal government moves to push back possible rail strike - Universal Logistics Trade Alerts - May 14, 2024

Toronto, May 14, 2024

The federal government is moving to push back the start of a possible strike by railway workers at Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC). Late on Thursday, May 9, Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan announced that he had asked the Canada Industrial Relations Board to look at whether the strike might have health or safety implications to the public. Until the board has rendered a decision, a strike or lockout cannot commence and there is no set timeline for the board to issue a decision.

O’Regan acted after stakeholders expressed concern about the effect of a stoppage on healthcare infrastructure, in particular shipments of propane, which is used as a back-up generator fuel for rural hospitals. Farm groups have also advised that a strike would cause mass disruption to the agricultural sector and the Canadian economy.

Rail workers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference had voted overwhelmingly to strike as early as May 22. This would be the earliest date a strike or lockout could commence, however as noted, until the board renders a decision, any such action cannot be initiated.

For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.

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