One of Canada's railway giants is in the midst of a major labour dispute.
In a news release, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference described the situation as a lockout "initiated by company management".
The company, on the other hand, accused the union's barganing committee of issuing a news release that "completely misrepresented the truth" by alleging that it was a lockout.
“We are deeply disappointed that, in the final hours before a legal strike or lockout was to potentially occur, the TCRC Negotiating Committee failed to respond to the company’s latest offer that was presented to them by the federal mediators,” said CP president and CEO Keith Creel in the company news release. “Instead, the TCRC opted to withdraw their services before the deadline for a strike or lockout could legally take place. The TCRC is well aware of the damage this reckless action will cause to the Canadian supply chain.”
Union spokesperson Dave Fulton maintained that management is actually who should be taken to task.
"They set the deadline for a lockout to happen tonight, when we were willing to pursue negotiations," Fulton declared. "Even more so, they then moved the goalpost when it came time to discuss the terms of final and binding arbitration.”
The labour disruption is of great concern to farmers on the Prairies who need to obtain fertilizer to coincide with spring planing.
The dispute comes as there are growing doubts about the capacity of Ukraine to produce wheat in the midst of its war with Russia. Ukraine is the world's fifth largest exporter of wheat. Russia is first, followed by Canada and the United States.