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Rail News: Labor

Teamsters Canadian MOW division to poll members on tentative CPR pact

During the next few weeks, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Maintenance of Way Employes Division will conduct a ratification vote on a tentative three-year agreement the union reached last week with Canadian Pacific Railway.

The tentative settlement — which includes provisions that best CPR’s final offer submitted March 23, according to the union — ended a three-week strike that began May 15. The parties had been negotiating a new contract since July 2006, but reached a stalemate on wage increases, benefit improvements and work rules, leading to the strike.

Covering 3,200 track, bridge and structure maintenance workers, the agreement calls for a 3 percent wage increase in 2007 (retroactive to Jan. 1), 4 percent hike in 2008 and 3 percent rise in 2009; various improvements to work rules; and a boost in life insurance payments. Workers also would receive a lump sum payment of 1 percent of their pay for each year of the contract, exclusive of wages.

The union had been seeking wage increases of 4 percent in 2007 and 2008, and 5 percent in 2009; CPR previously offered 3 percent hikes for each of the three years.

The union — which represents 4,100 workers at CPR, Canadian National Railway Co. and more than two dozen Canadian short lines — will mail ballots to members next week.

“Now, we need to vote the agreement into place,” said division President William Brehl in a prepared statement.

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More News from 6/14/2007