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Rail News: Canadian Pacific

Canada's House of Commons introduces return-to-work bill after CP-TCRC talks stall; TCRC-represented dispatchers ratify CN contract


Yesterday, a bill was introduced in Canada’s House of Commons that proposes to end a work stoppage and prompt the resumption of Canadian Pacific’s service, as well as impose binding arbitration aimed at resolving the issues remaining in the labor dispute between the Class I and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC). CP shutdown its operations shortly after TCRC-represented employees launched a strike on May 23.

Negotiations between the parties have stalled since May 27, when the Canadian government released them from federal mediation. The TCRC — which represents about 4,800 CP workers — and railroad have been trying to reach a tentative agreement since October 2011, but have failed to resolve disputes concerning pension provisions, fatigue management and work rules. Their previous contract expired on Dec. 31, 2011.

The Class I will cooperate with any parliamentary decision, said CP spokesman Ed Greenberg in an emailed statement.

“Once the legislative process unfolds, our company will shift our attention to fully preparing for a timely and disciplined ramp-up in operations with a view to achieve full production levels as soon as possible for the benefit of all our customers,” he said.

But TCRC officials oppose legislation that would force its members to return to work at CP. The union plans to hold a demonstration on Parliament Hill today to protest the House of Commons bill.

“We want the government to know how unhappy we are about the failed negotiations with CP,” said TCRC Vice President Doug Finnson in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, CN announced that TCRC-Rail Canada Traffic Controllers members ratified a new agreement covering 210 train dispatchers in Canada. Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2012, the three-year contract provides wage increases and includes standard benefit improvements.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/29/2012