The Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, a group representing Canada’s manufacturing trade associations, is urging Canadian Pacific Railway and its union to avoid a labour disruption that further fractures the country’s beleaguered supply chain.
Failing that, the Coalition wants the federal government to intervene immediately to prevent a work stoppage.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference recently voted in favor of strike action if a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached by March 16.
“Canadian manufacturers urge Canadian Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to reach an immediate agreement and avoid labour disruptions that would inflict serious harm to Canadian manufacturing and exporting operations,” the Coalition stated in a release this morning.
Canadian manufacturers are some of the biggest users of rail transportation services. CP Rail is a critical link in manufacturing supply chains.
“Given the many disruptions of the past year and the ongoing supply chain crisis, our industry cannot afford another major transportation network interruption,” the Coalition stated.
In a recent survey conducted by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), nine out of ten Canadian manufacturers are encountering supply chain issues, with over 60 per cent rating the impact of these disruptions as either major or severe. In addition, Canadian manufacturers surveyed say they have lost about $10.5 billion in sales because of disruptions in the supply chain and are now experiencing nearly $1 billion in increased costs.
“Adding to our concern is the fact that a labour disruption at CP Rail will deal another blow to Canada’s reputation as a good place to do business and as a reliable supply chain partner. A strike would seriously impact our global competitiveness, exacerbate supply chain problems, and drive away investment into Canadian manufacturing,” the Coalition stated. “This situation must be avoided at all costs, and we implore both sides to reach an agreement now. Failing that, the federal government must signal its intent to intervene immediately to avoid a work stoppage, the further fracturing of supply chains, and another hit to Canadian manufacturing.”
The statement was signed by numerous business associations, including the Canadian Tooling and Machining Association, the Canadian Steel Producers Association, the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Collectively, manufacturing employs over 1.7 million Canadians, makes up more than 10 per cent of GDP, and represents two-thirds of Canada’s value-added exports.