The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada supports the federal government’s back-to-work legislation requiring the appointment of an arbitrator to resolve outstanding disputes between Canadian Pacific Railway and its 4,800 striking employees.

CIAC’s member-companies rely on rail to ship more than 70 per cent of their products, and the CP strike has hindered their ability to get those products to market. If the strike were to continue, some CIAC plants could be forced to reduce their production by the end of this week.

CIAC estimates that the 2007 rail strike cost chemistry companies – and the Canadian economy – in the order of $200 million dollars. When a chemical plant cannot deliver its products to market, the effects can be felt throughout the economy in sectors such as energy, housing, automobiles, pulp and paper, and consumer products – all of which rely on inputs from the chemistry industry. There can be health and safety implications as well; the industry’s chemicals are essential for many Canadian municipalities to treat their water.

On May 22, 2012, CIAC President Richard Paton sent a letter to Labour Minister Lisa Raitt urging a quick resolution to the CP strike. The government’s back-to-work legislation is an appropriate response to the chemistry industry’s calls for action; it will mitigate further economic loss, and prevent damage to Canada’s reputation as a reliable link in global supply-chains.

For more information, contact:

Fiona Cook
Director, Business & Economics
Chemistry Industry Association of Canada