NGFA Details the Dangers of a Canadian Rail Stoppage

ARLINGTON, Va., May 21, 2024 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) urged the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to take action to avert a rail strike or lockout in comments submitted May 21.

Shutdowns or slowdowns of rail-dependent facilities would result “in harmful consequences for Canada’s agricultural producers and industry as well as domestic and global food security,” NGFA said.

As negotiations between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Kansas City Railways continue, the Board has requested comments regarding the impacts of lost rail service on the movements of food throughout Canada.

NGFA noted that many of its member companies rely on rail services that transit to and via Canada. A strike or lockout “would lead to ripple effects across the entire industry.”

For example, the livestock industry depends on rail to deliver corn and other feed grains, and biofuels operations, flour mills and agricultural export facilities require uninterrupted rail service. “A stoppage of rail service would materially harm Canada’s farmgate prices for commodities, Canada’s ag shippers and exporters and its global customers,” NGFA stated.

“The impact of a strike would be particularly severe as trucking is not a viable option for many agricultural shippers due to their high-volume needs and the long distances for many of the movements,” NGFA noted.

NGFA concluded: “An operational railroad is essential for agricultural production and food distribution, and we thank you for your responsiveness to this imminent supply chain issue.”