A strike by CN Rail workers has caused increasing delays at the Halifax Port Authority.
Port officials said yesterday delays started subtly on Saturday, Day 1 of the strike, when a train was held back by two hours.
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That delay jumped to 16 hours by Sunday. Normally, a train is scheduled to enter the Halifax port every morning and leave every evening. But the train scheduled for 10:20 a.m. Sunday didn’t get in until 2 a.m. Monday.
That meant the scheduled departure for Sunday evening didn’t take place until a full day later, last evening.
“We are beginning to see some impacts on port operations. Basically CN, the terminal operators and the Halifax Port Authority are working together to maintain rail service,” said Halifax Port Authority spokeswoman Michele Peveril.
Peveril said just because the delays have steadily escalated so far, doesn’t mean they will keep expanding, adding each day has a different set of factors.
She said there hasn’t been a decrease in business yet, but the delays have been significant.
“Rail service is critical to the port of Halifax because about 70 per cent of our containers move from ships onto rail and then to inland markets such as the midwest United States, Ontario, Quebec,” Peveril said.
In Ottawa, the Conservatives made a move to end the strike yesterday when they introduced back to work legislation in the House of Commons. The bill would force the 1,700 striking engineers to return to their jobs and send the outstanding issues to binding arbitration.