OTTAWA, May 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Fertilizer Institute (CFI) is urging the Government to act quickly to enact back-to-work legislation following Saturday's rejection by the Canadian members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) at the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CPR) that could result in a strike as early as 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Ending the potential strike is critical to sustaining Canada's domestic and export markets.
"Rail service disruptions are damaging to the Canadian economy in general and Canadian export industry in particular," said Roger Larson, President of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute. "Even the threat of a strike has serious repercussions on the Canadian economy and on the reputation of our exporters in foreign markets as buyers move to other sources of supply."
The Canadian fertilizer industry faces an annual logistical challenge of moving 25 million tonnes of product. Currently, CFI member companies are facing the combination of tight inventory supply and strong global demand for all fertilizer products. The domestic, U.S. and offshore demand for Canadian fertilizer has been very high this spring and this trend is expected to continue. Our members currently have large unit trains of potash scheduled to move from western Canada to Vancouver for export offshore, as well as various fertilizer products scheduled to move domestically and cross-border to the important U.S. market. CFI members simply cannot afford the repercussions of a rail disruption.
"We are calling for the Government to move quickly to impose a dispute resolution process combined with immediate back-to-work legislation for CPR railway workers, should they strike on May 23," said Richard Phillips, Executive Director of the Grain Growers of Canada. "Disruptions to rail service cause immediate damage to our ability to make export sales and that means losses right back to the farm gate. It's even more painful to lose grain sales when prices are good."
The Canadian Fertilizer industry urges the Prime Minister and his government to carefully monitor this situation between now and May 23, the earliest date at which a strike or lockout can start. "The Federal government must work quickly to enact back-to-work legislation for CPR workers. Once this issue is resolved, the government must look at long-term action to prevent labour disputes in services that are essential to the long-term economic health of our country," said Larson.
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 $12 billion annually to Canada's economy. Our products contribute to the supply of safe, nutritious food in Canada and around the world.
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