CN services about half the elevators in Western Canada, Sobkowich said, on top of exclusive access to the grain terminal on Vancouver's North Shore and the port in Prince Rupert, B.C.
More than 3,000 railway conductors, train persons, and yard workers at Canadian National Railway (CN) went on strike at midnight on Tuesday, threatening to disrupt crude by rail shipments out of Alberta. The strike impacts the movement of goods and commodities throughout Canada and into the U.S.
The Teamsters union gave Canadian National Railway notice Friday of its intent to strike after contract negotiations stalled.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new cabinet could find itself moving faster than anticipated to deal with anger in the West over challenging economic conditions, in the face of a rail strike that a growing number of industry leaders say could trigger layoffs and closures and cost millions.
Without a contract since July 23, the union is concerned about long job hours, fatigue and other hard working conditions.
"We have seen the severe consequences of rail backlogs before".
Trudeau unveils his new cabinet on Wednesday before the planned return of Parliament Dec. 5, but Scheer and Alberta officials called on him to bring legislators back sooner.
"We recommend that the government impose binding arbitration to address this dispute - and to also consider such arbitration as a required step in future labour disputes involving the Class 1 railroads, given the frequency and adverse impact of such disputes", said Gratton. "Now is the time to act", Dreeshen's statement said. Allison Landry, an analyst with Credit Suisse Group AG, said a walkout may crimp CN's cargo volume, the labor action likely wouldn't last long and the impact on the company's earnings wouldn't be meaningful. Farmers don't need the added pain from compounding rail delays, especially after this hard harvest.
"(Farmers) may not have harvested the crop yet and what they do have, well, if they can't deliver it, they're not paid", Steve said.
A delayed grain crop has already caused headaches for the industry following a dry spring and wet summer. The industry was also impacted this year when China blocked the import of Canadian canola, possibly in response to Canada's arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.