Chemistry industry urges government to take action to get people and goods moving again

May 30, 2018

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) urges the government to consider the far-reaching and urgent economic implications the strike activity and work stoppage at the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) is having on industry and to take early action to prevent further serious damage to the Canadian economy.

“The immediate impacts of the CP strike on our members are severe and long-lasting. For many of our members, they are captive to CP – there are no alternatives for their shipments,” said CIAC president and CEO Bob Masterson. “Some of these goods are used in essential health and safety applications, such as municipal water treatment plants. Canadian citizens could feel the effects of this work stoppage in a matter of days, according to our members.”

CIAC members rely exclusively on rail to ship roughly 80 per cent of their production. In many cases, chemical plants are continuous operations that require reliable, uninterrupted rail service to produce and deliver essential products to customers. Rail service issues over the winter have already left customers running at reduced capacity and lacking storage capacity for product.

CIAC believes that a negotiated solution is always the preferred outcome, but if this fails, steps need to be taken quickly. CIAC has worked closely with the government in previous rail strikes and provided information on the critical impacts to the economy, community and supply chain. CIAC is ready to assist the government once again to mitigate economic loss and damage to Canada’s reputation as a reliable supplier in global supply chains.

Quick facts:

  • Canada’s chemistry sector is a $53 billion industry.
  • $20 million worth of industrial chemical products rely on CP’s network to get to their destinations every single day.
  • The economic impact of the work stoppage is $1 million a day per company.
  • Our larger companies can ship and receive approximately 80 cars per day.
  • Most of our members have about three days of storage capacity.
  • Many of our members will need to shut down operations after two days without rail service, most will be shut down by the end of the week.