Smithers rail Teamsters picket outside the CN building on Railway Ave. Nov. 19, 2019 as a strike by conductors, trainpersons and yard workers got under way. (Thom Barker photo)

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

The Forest Products Association of Canada says a chronic shortage of truck drivers is compounding concerns about the impact of a strike at Canadian National Railway Co.

CEO Derek Nighbor says the strike could have a “devastating economic impact” on his industry, which is already reeling from a downturn that resulted in about two dozen mill shutdowns and hundreds of layoffs in British Columbia.

He says the forest industry supplies about 10 per cent of the tonnage transported on Canada’s railway system, adding the lack of trucking alternatives to often remote facilities means transport bottlenecks and higher costs.

The strike by roughly 3,200 Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members began after the union and company failed to reach a deal by a Monday midnight deadline.

Conductors, trainpersons and yard workers took to the picket lines Tuesday, halting freight trains across the country.

ALSO READ: Ottawa urges CN and union to continue talks as 3,200 workers go on strike

On Wednesday, Pulse Canada and the Canadian Special Crops Association called on the federal government to ”do everything in its power” to end the strike to limit damage to the industry and the Canadian economy.

The call was echoed by the Canadian Propane Association which warned that timely delivery of supply is important to ensure critical activities fuelled by propane can continue.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Prince Rupert citizens concerned by influx of out of province visitors

Local politicians call on Minister of Oceans and Fisheries to limit licenses

Bunkowski’s busted out of the boredom during self isolation

After 14 days Prince Rupert family finally finds freedom

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read