Canadian Mining Journal


TRANSPORTATION: MAC wants binding arbitration to end rail strike

A long rail strike will lead to thousands of lay-offs in mining and other industries. (Image:

OTTAWA – The Mining Association of Canada has expressed “serious concern” regarding the damage a long strike that halts rail service will do to the mining industry. The job action comes as a result of failing to come to a contract agreement between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and Canadian National Railway.

MAC points out that the mining industry accounted for 52.3% of rail freight revenues in 2018. It is the single largest shipping group by volume.

A rail stoppage impacts the mining sector’s ability to resupply their operations and to transport products to their customers. (Think of the metallurgical coal miners in eastern British Columbia. Their output goes to steelmakers mainly in Asia. Without a means of getting coal to ports, the supply is interrupted, making Canada a less-than-reliable trading partner.)

MAC president and CEO Pierre Gratton said, “MAC members have advised that this strike will result in a severe reduction or elimination of railway capacity and will trigger the closure of mines with concurrent lay-offs of thousands of employees beginning in a matter of days.”

Gratton would like to see the government impose binding arbitration to address the dispute between the Teamsters and CN Rail. Moreover, MAC would also like arbitration become a required step in future railroad labour disputes.

Learn more about MAC at

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