Thursday, May 24, 2012

Canada prepares legislation to end CP strike

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The Honorable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labor Minister, said that the federal government has put the Restoring Rail Service Act on notice to end the current Canadian Pacific work stoppage involving the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

"We are concerned that the work stoppage at Canadian Pacific Railway will have a negative impact on the Canadian economy and put the jobs of thousands of other Canadians at risk if it is prolonged," said Minister Raitt. "That is why our Government has put a bill on notice to ensure that we are ready to act to protect Canada's economy."

Minister Raitt continued, "The best solution is always the one that the parties reach themselves. We strongly urge the parties to get back to the negotiating table and reach an agreement."

The president of the Canadian Labour Congress has written to Minister Lisa Raitt to express "outrage" at her interference in collective bargaining in the strike at Canadian Pacific.

"Only 10 hours after the workers went on strike, you and your government decided to put back-to-work legislation on the order paper in the House of Commons," Ken Georgetti said in his letter to the minister. "Why would any federal employer bargain in good faith with its workers?"

Georgetti added in his letter, "Your government is flagrantly taking away people's right to strike in an aggressive and biased approach to labor relations in the federal sector...Taking away people's rights and not allowing them to freely negotiate and vote on their collective agreement will cause irreparable harm to future labor relations between the workers and the unions with their employer."

Georgetti urged Minister Raitt to stay out of the dispute and to allow the Teamsters union and CP to come to a negotiated settlement.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service provides dispute resolution and preventive mediation assistance to trade unions and employers under the jurisdiction of the Canada Labor Code.

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