Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) is raising concerns with the potential impacts of strike action taken today by members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) on Manitoba farmers and the agricultural sector.
“PSAC represents thousands of public service employees who play a key role in the delivery and administration of agricultural programs and services, including the suite of business risk management programs and programming in the new Sustainable CAP that producers rely so heavily on to help run their operations” said KAP President, Jill Verwey.
The majority of Canadian Grain Commission employees who play an essential role in the grain handling system through outward inspection, export certification and producer payment security are also affected by this strike action.
“KAP respects the rights of Canadian workers to collective action,” stated Verwey. “However, this strike could negatively impact grain shipments resulting in backlogs and restricted cash flow for farmers, as well as increased demurrage costs for grain companies. Restrictions in cash flow could hamper a farmer’s ability to market their remaining 2022 crop as well as their ability to purchase inputs for the 2023 crop year.”
KAP expressed their concerns in writing to both the Government of Canada and PSAC prior to strike action taking place, as well as calls to ensure this strike action does not have an impact on producers and affect the already fragile agricultural supply chain system.
“KAP calls on both PSAC and the Government of Canada to continue an open dialogue through negotiations, with adequate contingencies in place to minimize negative impacts on the grain handling system and ensure that all agricultural programs continue to be delivered uninterrupted,” concluded Verwey.
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