The nationwide Canadian rail strike which began on Friday, August 24th, has caused serious disruption of passenger and cargo traffic and is seriously threatening the Provinces of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.
TRAVEL SHOT Truck parked by road side
GV Ships with food supplies
GV Strikers picket in cars in front of gates
SV Stranded passengers sleeping on floor of gymnasium (2 shots)
SV Police car in front of fates turning away newcomers
GV & SVs Cars going up privately owned ferries still operating (3 shots)
SV & GV Cars queue up for operating ferries
GV Ferry moving (back of ferry with cars)
"Most of the transports stuck on the Newfoundland-side of the Strait carry non-perishable goods or are going back empty, but almost 40 tractor-trailers are still aboard the cargo ferry Stenor Trailer. They were bringing almost a million dollars worth of vital food supplies to the island -- meat, vegetables, and fruit -- it may all go had as strikers refuse to let the truckers unload it. About 1500 people are stranded in Port-aux-Basques tonight (25 August). They sleep in cars, private homes, or in a gymnasium operated by the Lions Club.
"This is the second time in as many weeks we've done this sort of thing, so it's bit of old hat to us now."
"How long have you planned to maintain this service?"
"Well, until the food runs out, or until we run out of help."
"Hardwood floors are much better than some weary travellers will have to sleep on tonight. Police officers are turning back cars coming into Port-aux-Basques. There's simply no more room. Prince Edward Island isn't much batter off. Only three ferries, privately operated, are still moving. Lineups for these now stretch more than two miles and tourists have at least a twelve-hour wait. A reservation system will go into effect tomorrow. 2000 home-bound tourists are lined up in Charlottetown..."
"...today to get on that list. Already, all ferries Saturday and Sunday are booked solid. Each ferry can only handle 66 cars a trip. For any tourist, the Island's Centrenial Theme: "the place to be in '73" is easier said than accomplished. Bill Nichols, CBC News."
Initials BB/2120 PD/PN/BB/2134
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Background: The nationwide Canadian rail strike which began on Friday, August 24th, has caused serious disruption of passenger and cargo traffic and is seriously threatening the Provinces of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Both depend on ferry services for food and other cargo. All ferry service has been suspended by the strike and strikers have prevented the unloading of other ships.
The strike by 56,000 non-operating staff -- clerical and yard workers -- halted service on the two national rail lines and nine smaller ones, idling 100,000 rail workers. The strikers are demanding an increase of 22.6 per cent over the next two years. The companies have offered 17.4 per cent. Their present wage averages 3.54 dollars (1.42 Sterling) an hour.
Extra 'plane and bus services have been scheduled, but thousands of tourists were stranded in the Eastern Provinces. Trucking companies are working extra shifts, but serious shortages were developing. General Motors of Canada shut down two assembly plants and Ford said one of theirs would close next week due to the shortage of spare parts.
The two previous national rail strikes were ended when Parliament passed back-to-work legislation after they had continued for less than ten days, but Labour Minister John Munro said he wanted to avoid such action.