The engineers and conductors of the Canadian Pacific railway have walked off the job. The most recent communication we have on it is as follows:
CP Canadian Network shutdown due to TCRC strike
May 23, 2012
CP and the TCRC continue to meet with the assistance of the federal conciliation and mediation service in Ottawa. Talks are scheduled for Wednesday May 23, 2012 however at this time union will be withdrawing its services to operate freight and passenger trains in Canada.
CP has successfully executed the safe and structured shutdown of its train operations in Canada.
As a gesture of goodwill by CP and to further progress negotiations, commuter service continue to operate without disruption in the metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
An embargo application for shipments routing to and from CP Canadian locations is now in effect. This embargo applies to:
- All shipments originating in Canada which are billed to any Canadian or US destinations
- All shipments originating in the United States which are billed to any Canadian destinations
- The embargo can be rescinded at any time.
CP remains willing to participate in binding arbitration or negotiation period extensions. Both of these require consent of the union or action of the government and would allow CP to continue operating all Canadian rail traffic without disruption.
Vice-President, Customer Services
This seriously impacts importers and exporters of goods via the Canadian ports of Vancouver and Montreal. Prince Rupert is served by the CN, as are substantial operations from Halifax. The Canadian NATIONAL (or CN) is not affected by this.
Bills of lading will usually exclude labor actions like this as a reason for cargo to be delayed. Depending upon how long the strike lasts, carriers may impose “force majeure” clauses on the bills of lading which will terminate cargo at the arrival port without penalty to themselves or the cargo and require the consignee to arrange collection from the port.
If you are an importer or exporter of cargo via a Canadian gateway, you should check with your freight forwarder or Customs broker to see if your cargo has been affected.