CP, TCRC talks stall, Canadian government takes steps to legislate end to strike

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Legislation has been introduced in Canada's House of Commons aimed at restoring Canadian Pacific Service. The Honorable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labor Minister, introduced the Restoring Rail Service Act, which was put in place to end the strike at CP.

“The government is taking action to resume rail services for businesses, families and the economy,” said Minister Raitt. “The work stoppage at the Canadian Pacific Railway is affecting industries that contribute CA$540 million (US$528 million) weekly to the Canadian economy through their use of the railway. The strike will also put the jobs of thousands of Canadians at risk if it is prolonged.”

The proposed legislation would end the work stoppage and send the issues in Canadian Pacific’s labor disputes with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to an interest-based binding arbitration process.

This proposed legislation follows a strike by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference‘s rail traffic controllers and locomotive engineers, conductors, trainspersons and yardmen, which began on May 23, 2012.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is no longer involved in the negotiations process between CP and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference; the talks are stalled.

“We know a back-to-work legislation is unavoidable, explained Doug Finnson, vice president of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. “But the fatigue management issues will have to be addressed because it could have important consequences on the members.”

Teamsters Canada’s President Robert Bouvier is outraged by the attitude shown toward those who make the success of the rail company, saying “Canadian Pacific wants to tackle a pension plan that workers have accumulated over years of hard work. The company is hiding behind the usual excuse: i.e. that the company should be more and more profitable. Meanwhile, the workers suffer the consequences.”

TCRC says that CP proposed significant reductions for TCRC’s members, while management within the same pension plan are scheduled for increases, despite contributing nearly half of what its members contribute.

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