Car loading, hours of work issues raised at WESTAC roundtable

GSU general secretary Wagner attended a virtual roundtable with Saskatchewan’s Ministers of Highways and Agriculture on March 31. The roundtable meeting was hosted by the Western Transportation Advisory Council  (WESTAC) and provided an opportunity for transportation industry players to present updates on current issues an update on issues from their perspective for the benefit of the two provincial cabinet ministers.

 Wagner used the opportunity to raise awareness about the pressure and sacrifice forced on workers in grain terminals as a result of shorter and shorter loading times for unit trains compounded by erratic railcar delivery service from the railways.

 “I thought it important to speak about the difficulties so many terminal elevator workers face when juggling their personal lives against the constantly changing demands around loading unit trains,” Wagner said. “With provincial government, railway and grain company representatives present, the roundtable presented a rare opportunity to acquaint those in suits with the practical effects of their management decisions.”

 “Change won’t happen overnight, but it is important to use every available forum to advocate for a better deal for the workers who make the system work. When business and government leaders speak of their desire for even greater efficiency in the supply chain they fail to account for the impact on workers, and one of GSU’s responsibilities is to set the record straight.”

 WESTAC is a unique tri-partite organization comprising the four western provincial governments, the federal government (via Transport Canada), business leaders in transportation and logistics, and labour unions representing workers in the industry. GSU has been a contributing member of WESTAC since 1978.