Manufacturers Cannot Afford More Critical Supply Chain and Labour Disruptions


Earlier this month, rail workers at Canada’s two class 1 railways, Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) voted in favour of a strike mandate and could go on strike as soon as May 22.


Unfortunately, we’ve been here before.

For Canadian manufacturers, this is a familiar and scary story. Manufacturers, cannot afford to have their businesses and workers, once again, threatened by a critical supply chain labour disruption.

Manufacturers are trade exposed. More than any other industry, we rely on railways to access critical inputs and bring goods to customers. When work stops at these critical supply-chain nodes, manufacturers across the country are unfairly and disproportionately penalized by forces entirely outside of their control.

And the impact starts well before a strike as manufacturers scramble to make difficult mitigation plans and business decisions as a stoppage becomes more and more likely.

CME will update this information hub with all of our activities along with the latest news and resources regarding the potential rail strike so that your business can stay informed. 


MANUFACTURERS: Your voice is important.

Take our survey on what the impacts of a potential rail stoppage your manufacturing business will be.

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By the Numbers

  • Last year’s 13-day strike at British Columbia ports disrupted more than $10 billion worth of trade.
  • According to a CME survey, the BC Ports strike cost individual manufacturers an average of $207,000 per day.
  • For every week of strike at the B.C. ports, it took an estimated three weeks to untangle furled supply chains.
  • Railways transport half of Canada’s annual exports the Railway Association of Canada estimates that a Canada wide rail stoppage will disrupt the movement of approximately $1 billion worth of goods per day.

Why Rail Infrastructure Matters

Manufacturing Fast Facts

  • The manufacturing sector represents more than 10% of Canada’s gross domestic product.
  • Manufacturers directly support more than 1.7 million jobs in Canada.

New challenges require new policy recommendations.