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NGFA urges Canadian leaders to avoid rail strike

NGFA urges Canadian leaders to avoid rail strike

(Posted on 13/05/24)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the USA and 19 other members of the Agricultural Transportation Working Group has urged Canadian leaders to take action to avoid a rail strike that could begin as soon as 22 May.

The Teamsters Canada union, which represents 9,000 workers at Canadian National Railway (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), has threatened to strike as they negotiate labour agreements.

In a May 9 letter to Minister of Labour Seamus Regan, NGFA and other stakeholders said rail in Canada should be designated as an essential service. “A rail stoppage would lead to shutdowns or slowdowns of rail-dependent facilities resulting in devastating consequences to national and global food security,” the letter noted.

“Our memberships rely on freight rail to move essential products across Canada and the U.S. and a disruption to CN and CPKC’s rail service could ripple across North America,” NGFA and the other groups stated. “The impact of a strike would be particularly severe as trucking is not a viable option for many shippers due to their high-volume needs and the long distances for many of the movements.”

The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate facilities handling U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA consists of 27 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.

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