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

Suspect with pellet gun draws serious police response in downtown Nanaimo

Officers respond with guns drawn at Port Place shopping centre

City of Nanaimo takes measures to protect people experiencing homelessness during pandemic

City to provide additional water sources and washrooms, council directs creation of food plan

Nanaimo Art Gallery teen art group creating COVID-19-inspired art

Code Switching group lives on online after physical meetings cancelled due to pandemic

Shoplifting way down, break-and-enters up in Nanaimo during COVID-19 pandemic

Break-and-enters to businesses increased 65 per cent in the last two weeks of March, say police

From inside the ER: B.C. doctor tells it like it is from the frontlines of COVID-19

‘Stay home. It’s working,’ says ER doctor in a Q&A discussion, ‘And please don’t worry.’

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

B.C. senior gives blood for 200th time, has ‘saved’ 600 lives

There was no cutting of cake for Harvey Rempel but he’s challenging youth to start donating blood

Trudeau commits $100M to help food banks amid COVID-19 crisis

Funds will help ‘urgent food needs’ for Canadians awaiting federal emergency benefits to kick in

Couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas: Cowichan by-law

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

How well can cell phones carry COVID-19? Disinfecting may be wise

‘You want to keep it as clean as you would normally your hands’

3M pushes back on Trump administration call to stop sending N95 masks to Canada

3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible

COVID-19: Vancouver Islander celebrates 90th birthday with Model T ride as neighbours line streets

WATCH: Pandemic ruined plans for a party, so Pauline Gray’s friends got creative

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Most Read