Fertilizer Industry Calls for Immediate End to Renewed Rail Strike

    OTTAWA, April 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI)
is urging the Government to act quickly to enact back-to-work legislation
following yesterday's rejection by the Canadian members of the United
Transportation Union (UTU) to a one-year settlement with Canadian National
Railway Company (CN). Ending the strike is critical to avoid crippling the
movement of fertilizer throughout rural Canada as well as to export markets.
    The Canadian fertilizer industry faces an annual logistical challenge of
moving 25 million tonnes of product.  At this critical time rail service
disruptions may cause significant losses and layoffs throughout both the
farming and farm supply industries.
    Canadian farmers depend on fertilizer to grow food and spend $2.7 billion
each year on fertilizer to help ensure successful crops. "The spring season
will be quickly upon us and the next four to six weeks will determine the
success or failure of farmers' crops this year," said CFI President Roger
    Canadian and world grain prices have improved significantly in the last
few months after a prolonged period of depressed prices and farmers are now
looking forward to their strongest sales in decades. "We are calling for the
Government to move quickly to impose a dispute resolution process combined
with immediate back to work legislation for CN railway workers," said Richard
Phillips, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. "Not only will a
strike once again shake our customers' confidence in our ability to supply
grain at export position, but a shortage of fertilizer could cripple Canadian
farmers at seeding time."
    On March 29, Minister of Labour Jean-Pierre Blackburn stated that, in the
event that the strike resumes, the government would take immediate action to
resolve any further work stoppage before it causes serious damage to Canadian
farmers and the Canadian economy. Bill C-46, the Railway Continuation Act,
2007, which was tabled in the House of Commons on February 23, 2007, remains
on the Order Paper.
    CFI urges the Government to proceed immediately to enact Bill C-46.

    The Canadian Fertilizer Institute is an industry association representing
manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors of nitrogen, phosphate,
potash and sulphur fertilizers. Our mission is to be the unified voice of the
Canadian fertilizer industry by promoting the responsible, sustainable and
safe production, distribution and use of fertilizers. Our industry employs
12,000 Canadians and contributes $7 billion annually to Canada's economy. Our
products contribute to the supply of safe, nutritious food in Canada and
around the world.

For further information:

For further information: Susan Sykes, (613) 230-2590, ssykes@cfi.ca

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