Canadian Pacific has received a 72-hour strike notice from the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents 4,800 engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers in Canada.
While the parties continue to meet with the assistance of the Federal mediator and conciliator service, the 72-hour notice issued by the union means a work stoppage can occur as early as on May 23, 2012.
In the event there is a work stoppage, CP will proceed with a safe and structured shut down of its train operations in Canada.
“CP believes the offer it has presented the union is fair and reasonable. We are willing to enter into binding arbitration or negotiation period extensions should an agreement not be reached at this stage,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Mike Franczak. “This would ensure the continued operations of freight and commuter trains on CP’s Canadian Network for the benefit of our customers, communities we serve and the economy at large. Any extension to the bargaining process requires consent of the union or action of the federal government.”
“We wrote to CP yesterday indicating that we would continue operating the commuter train service on all the lines without disruption,” said Doug Finnson, vice president of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, who is representing CP’s workers. “CP has written to us today indicating they will not operate Commuter Trains in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.”
On April 26, 95 percent of Teamsters members had voted to go on strike. The major issues are work rules, fatigue management and the pension plan.
A number of crafts are affected, more specifically, conductors, yardmen, locomotive engineers and rail traffic controllers. Almost 4,800 could be on strike.