Canadian Manufacturing

CME releases statement around CP Rail strike

In a recent CME survey, more than 95 per cent of Manitoba manufacturers are already experiencing supply chain issues that are affecting their ability to produce and sell products

March 17, 2022   by CM Staff

WINNIPEG — Manufacturers are calling for an immediate agreement to avoid labour disruptions that will inflict significant and serious harm to the industry, says Ron Koslowsky, CME Vice President “We have been hearing from our members who are deeply concerned about the impacts to their operations, at a time when supply chain disruptions are already reaching critical mass and on the heels of a costly border blockade.”

In a recent CME survey, more than 95 per cent of Manitoba manufacturers are already experiencing supply chain issues that are affecting their ability to produce and sell products, with two thirds rating the impact on operations as either major or severe. Canadian manufacturers surveyed say they have lost about $10.5 billion in sales because of disruptions in the supply chain and are now experiencing nearly $1 billion in increased costs.

Adds Koslowsky “This situation must be avoided at all costs, and we implore both sides to reach an agreement now. Failing that, the federal government must signal its intent to intervene immediately to avoid a work stoppage, the further fracturing of supply chains, and another hit to Canadian manufacturing.””

CME says that continued rail services are essential to the prosperity and long-term competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. It is reportedly critical Canadian manufacturers have a reliable, functional transportation network. Pre-pandemic, manufacturers loaded an average of nearly 4,500 rail cars per day in 2016, for a yearly total of 1.62 million rail cars. Manufactured goods made up about 47 per cent of all rail car loadings in Canada. Redirecting shipments to other modes of transport is a not practical solution according to CME, as it disrupts supply chains, delays shipments and leads to added costs or penalties for missed delivery schedules and, possibly, the loss of future business to global competitors.

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