35 CP Rail workers strike in Regina
Canadian Pacific Rail workers went on strike at midnight on Wednesday across Canada.
In Regina, about 35 people are currently off the job as negotiations continue between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and CP.
"They want to have a 40 per cent cut in our pension," said Vice local chair for the conductors, Dave Hariniuk.
Hariniuk adds that the company hasn't put together much of a package for wages, but he admits that's not there biggest concern. He said they have bigger issues in maintaining work and life balance.
"We don't even have Christmas off anymore," said Hariniuk. "You're expected to be available to go to work with a two hour phone call."
More reliable time off is about more than just spending time with their families. Hariniuk says it's for everyone's safety too.
"It's hard to do this job when you're fatigued all the time."
Farmers could be impacted by strike
Certainly one sector in Saskatchewan that will be hurt by the strike is farmers.
"Grain companies and the wheat board are all making shipments off to the ports." said Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan President Norm Hall.
"The ships that are supposed to be loading in say three or four days have to sit in port for a week or 10 days. They charge what's called demurrage."
Those charges could come at the expense of the farmer or the wheat board. Hall says that farmers in the province don't really have any other options when it comes to shipping grain.
"Anything close to or past a week is going to start costing tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars."
With that in mind, the federal government is already considering back to work legislation.
Hariniuk says they understand how important their jobs are to the economy.
"(But) that should be considered when our wages and benefits are on the table too."
The farmers meanwhile appear to be taking a different stance.
"I apologize to friends and neighbours for this, because I live in Wynyard, which is a CP rail town," said Hall.
"We as Saskatchewan farmers need you guys back at work to move our grain."