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Rail News: Labor

Teamsters-represented MOW workers walk off job at CPR

The picket signs are out at Canadian Pacific Railway. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference’s Maintenance of Way Employees Division launched a strike against the railroad last night because the parties failed to negotiate an agreement on wage increases, benefit improvements and work rules. The union had issued a 72-hour strike notice on Sunday.

The previous contract covering the 3,200 CPR track, bridge and structure maintenance workers expired on Dec. 31. The parties have been bargaining a new contract since July 2006.

CPR has dispatched more than 1,300 MOW-trained management employees to replace about 1,200 of the striking maintenance workers.

The Canadian government — which last month passed back-to-work legislation and assigned a federal arbitrator to help resolve a Canadian National Railway Co./United Transportation Union-Canada labor dispute — plans to intervene if the CPR/Teamsters squabble causes “serious economic damage.” Earlier this week, the Canadian Wheat Board expressed concern that a prolonged Teamsters’ strike could disrupt shipments of about 2.2 million tons of grain.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/16/2007