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Rail News Home Canadian Pacific

4/30/2012



Rail News: Canadian Pacific

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members favor CP strike if contract renewal stalls


Late last week, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members voted in favor of launching a strike against Canadian Pacific if new collective agreements aren’t reached soon. The strike would be launched any time after May 22 once a cooling-off period expires, according to the TCRC, which represents 5,000 conductors, trainmen, yardmen, locomotive engineers and rail traffic controllers employed at CP.

The parties have been negotiating since October 2011 to renew labor agreements that expired on Jan. 1, 2012.

“Despite months of bargaining, the railway continues to seek major concessions on pensions, work rules and wages,” TCRC officials said in a prepared statement. “The union’s issues concerning fatigue management and work/life balance also remain unresolved.”

Discussions with the TCRC regarding changes to the Class I’s legacy pension plan will continue under the supervision of a conciliator appointed by the federal minister of labor, CP officials said in a statement issued on Friday. The railroad is seeking changes to legacy pension and post-retirement benefits to make them industry-comparable.

“CP has proposed a number of options for pension plan modifications for future pension recipients, none of which impacts current pensioners,” CP officials said. “Among the range of proposed amendments, some of the options provide guaranteed pension payment that is a multiple of average Canadian industrial pension payment and is comparable to what this union has already agreed to for the majority of its members at another major Canadian railway.”

CP is confident a settlement can be reached with the TCRC, said President and Chief Executive Officer Fred Green.

“It is vital to the future of the railroad that legacy pension issues are resolved,” he said. “Legacy pension costs significantly impact CP’s operating ratio and our ability to further fund investments that will support growth opportunities for the benefit of all CP stakeholders.”


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