The wheels are in motion for a strike by about 3,000 conductors and locomotive engineers at CP Rail.
The Teamsters Union has filed a 72-hour strike notice and can walk off the job at 12:01am on Saturday.
The conductors and engineers gave their union an overwhelming strike mandate (94.2 per cent) in early April.
The union says CP rail is demanding cuts and concessions despite posting large profits. It also believes the company is ”attempting to manufacture a crisis to force government intervention.”
Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), says any labor disruption would be a disaster following poor grain movement this winter. Over a period of several weeks, CN and CP Rail were only able to supply between 40 and 60 per cent of the hopper cars ordered by grain companies.
“We’ll suffer the consequences of poor service, whether it’s because of bad planning by the railways or a strike by a union. Either way, the farmer pays the bill and it’s very disappointing,” Lewis said.
APAS is encouraging both sides to reach a negotiated settlement, but if that doesn’t happened, it says the federal government will need to introduce back-to-work legislation.