TORONTO – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is calling for an immediate resolution to end the CN Rail strike quickly and to make sure goods and products can continue to be shipped.
CFIB says the CN Rail strike, now on its fourth day, poses a threat for small businesses that rely on its services to send and receive products and essential materials.
“A long strike could really hurt the economy, even trigger layoffs and closures. This is especially true for small businesses, which often have fewer financial resources to weather a long service disruption,” said Dan Kelly, president of CFIB. “Unfortunately, the current CN strike means that businesses are left with few options to get their products to market, which may result in delayed and cancelled shipments.”
The agriculture industry is among the most affected; farmers are facing a tough harvest season with winter weather hitting early in many provinces, while grain producers are also caught in the middle of a trade dispute with China, which has caused significant uncertainties, notes CFIB.
The strike also impacts various other industries that rely heavily on rail service, such as the oil industry, mining and forestry. Other industries that use rail services, such as manufacturing, retail, transportation and wholesale, will likely start to feel the impact of the CN strike in the coming days.
“CFIB is calling on CN Rail and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to quickly reach an agreement before the impact on the economy gets worse,” said Kelly. “If the parties cannot reach an agreement by early next week, CFIB calls on the government to resume Parliament and pass back-to-work legislation.”