"This will have dramatic impacts on our customers' business and Canada's economy," he said.
In a release, the Canadian Mining Association urged Ottawa to step in to end the dispute, as mining companies depend on rail to bring equipment and fuel to site and move their product to market.
"Anything that interrupts nutrient movement to the grower in the middle of the season in Western Canada is not good news for the farmer," said Richard Downey, a spokesman for fertilizer producer Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU).
Canpotex railcars move from Saskatchewan, where Air Max 90 Black And Yellow the nutrient is mined, along CP's tracks to the port of Vancouver for export.
CALGARY A strike by 4,800 Canadian Pacific Railway workers means the services of thousands of other employees won't be needed, a spokesman for the railway said Wednesday as the federal labour minister threatened to force an end to the day old stoppage.
The strike is also affecting Canadian farmers, and the companies that supply nutrients and other goods to them.
will not walk away from the negotiation table."
Tens of thousands of carloads a day of grain, coal, cars, lumber and other products aren't moving because of the walkout, Greenberg said.
Greenberg said the layoffs could affect those who work in the yard, engineering and mechanical areas essentially anyone who isn't needed when trains aren't running.
"But at some point in time there will be a grave economic effect and we're monitoring for that now," she said.
"If the Teamsters stay on strike for any length of time, we are told that significant collateral impact will occur to our customers with plant shutdowns or operational curtailment. This will take the economic impact and job loss far beyond the minister's estimates."
"You see Canpotex cars going to the West Coast every single day, and demand has really picked up internationally for potash," said Downey.
She said some freight might be able to move by other means by truck or on rival railroad Canadian National Railway Co.'s (TSX:CNR) network.
Earlier in Ottawa, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said the government is prepared to introduce back to work legislation if CP and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference can't reach a deal.
"We have made every reasonable effort to get a settlement," Teamsters vice president Doug Finnson said in a statement posted on the union website.
"Once again the Conservatives are taking only one side and by threatening the union and the workers with back to work legislation, it removes a lot of pressure from the employer," said the Montreal NDP MP.
Opposition labour Nike Air Max 90 Womens Metallic
important the outstanding issues are," Finnson added. "We Air Max 90 Ultra Breeze Hyper Jade
"The perception of Canpotex from the customer side of things is a reliable supplier. That's one of the key benefits of Canpotex and anything that damages that is of major concern for all of us."
Agrium uses Montreal based CN, Canada's biggest railway, for most of its other fertilizer shipments, but any disruption is likely to have ripple effects on the entire system.
"But they have to be aware of the fact that the Canadian government will step in on the basis of the national economy and the greater public interest at some point."
Major points of contention are pensions, some work rules and fatigue management, he said.
"Every union member knows how Nike Air Max 90 Womens
CP taking thousands off job during strike
"It constitutes another attack against the rights of the workers to associate and to freely negotiate."
"We want to create the atmosphere where they can do a deal on their own," she told reporters.
critic Alexandre Boulerice said he's concerned the threat of back to work legislation will skew the balance at the negotiating table in favour of the company.
"Unfortunately, with this unnecessary strike by the Teamsters, more than 2,000 other unionized CP employees will not be required and are being laid off," said CP's Ed Greenberg.
"The shipment of fuel and other supplies to mine sites will be compromised as is the transport of mineral products," said association head Pierre Gratton.
A prolonged strike would cost the Canadian economy an estimated $540 million a week, Raitt said, calling that figure "conservative."
Agrium, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (TSX:POT) and Mosaic Co. market their potash, a key crop nutrient, overseas through a company they jointly own called Canpotex.
Both the union and CP have said the negotiations would continue Wednesday.
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