Potential Rail Strike Threatens Economy, Surrey Board of Trade Seeks Urgent Resolution

Employees at Canada’s two biggest railways, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPKC) and Canadian National Railway (CN), have voted to authorize a strike to support contract demands, potentially leading to thousands walking off the job. The notice of dispute initiated the process, with a possible strike or lockout looming as soon as May 22.

Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, expressed concern over the potential impacts of a railway strike on the economy, highlighting the detrimental effects it could have on ancillary jobs and businesses. She emphasized, “A strike at CPKC and CN would have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the railway industry but also various sectors dependent on efficient transportation networks.”

In February, CPKC and CN urged the federal labour minister to appoint a conciliator for the bargaining process regarding a new collective agreement for train conductors, engineers, and yard workers. Despite efforts to resolve negotiations, the authorization of a strike underscores the urgency of addressing key issues in the collective bargaining process.

Huberman also raised concerns about Bill C-58, which doesn’t allow for the use of replacement workers during strikes. “The implementation of Bill C-58 would only exacerbate the situation, causing further disruptions and harm to the economy,” she remarked. “It is crucial for all stakeholders to work towards a mutually beneficial resolution to avoid the adverse impacts of a prolonged labour dispute.”

The Surrey Board of Trade urges all parties involved to prioritize constructive dialogue and reach a fair and timely resolution to prevent disruptions to the supply chain and protect the interests of businesses and workers across Canada.


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,