Friday, June 1, 2012

Canadian Pacific Strike Ends

After a ten day strike which caused considerable backups at some of Canada's largest ports, it appears Canadian Pacific workers will return to work as early as today. As part of the legislation that forced the rail workers back to work, the railroad company and the union will have 90 days to resolve pension and other issues before an arbitrator steps in.

Not surprising, the ramifications of the strike are expected to hit the company's pocketbook hard and will likely benefit its competitor - Canadian National. A shift away from Canada's west coast ports may also be permanent - one official at Port Metro Vancouver noted there was a loss to other West coast ports (possibly to Tacoma and Seattle?) as shippers scrambled to ship and receive goods.

Port Metro Vancouver expects "several days if not weeks" to return to normal. The port estimates about $700m in goods were disrupted due to the strike.

Canadian Pacific will need to tread carefully as it comes to terms with its new CEO and board members as well as come to an agreement with the union in a timely manner - all while strengthening and rebuilding relationships with its customer-base.