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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

CP to lay off more than 3,000 workers due to Teamsters strike


Because of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) strike launched early yesterday and a subsequent suspension of freight operations, more than 2,000 “other unionized” employees will not be required and are being laid off, Canadian Pacific officials announced late yesterday.

“We expect this to grow by another 1,400 employees as their work, related to the operations of the railroad, is no longer required,” said CP spokesman Ed Greenberg in an emailed statement. “This is in addition to the 4,800 Teamster-represented employees currently on strike.”

CP officials have expressed to all parties that they’re willing to continue contract negotiations or enter binding arbitration, he said. If the TCRC officials don't agree, “we strongly urge the federal government to take definitive action,” said Greenberg.

CP is seeking pension provisions comparable to those provided to employees represented by the TCRC at other Canadian railways. Because the union has agreed to those provisions at the other railways, “we are simply seeking same to bring CP's legacy pension costs into line to remain competitive into the future,” said Greenberg.

But the strike was launched because CP is “drastically and unfairly trying to cut its workers’ pensions while generously improving the retirement benefits of its managers,” said TCRC Vice President Doug Finnson in a prepared statement.

“Fatigue management, work rules and pension plans are at the core of the negotiations,” he said.

Nonetheless, the union is still at the negotiating table in an effort to find common ground with CP and end the strike, TCRC officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/24/2012