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6/16/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CPR prepares for potential rail-traffic controller strike


On June 15, Canadian Pacific Railway began implementing contingency plans to maintain service if more than 200 Rail Canada Traffic Controllers-Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (RCTC) members walk off the job June 18.


On June 6, the union notified CPR of its intent to strike because the parties had failed to reach an agreement; CPR then sent RCTC a lockout notice, which would not affect the railroad's U.S.-based employees.


On June 14, a federally appointed mediator attempted to negotiate a settlement, but RCTC rejected CPR's latest offer, according to a CPR statement.


If a strike occurs, rail-traffic controller (RTC) managers would staff the railroad's Calgary, Alberta, and Montreal control centers. RTCs oversee train operations within designated network sections. All managers have past experience and have been re-qualified to assume RTC duties, CPR said.


The railroad expects to maintain normal operations during the potential work stoppage.


RCTC and CPR began negotiating a contract Sept. 1, 2002. In March, the union filed for conciliation; after Canada appointed a conciliator, the parties had until May 27 to reach an agreement, but talks broke off in early May.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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