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Rail News: Labor

Back to the bargaining table: CPR, Teamsters' union meet for first time since strike began


Canadian Pacific Railway and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Maintenance of Way Employees Division officials returned to the negotiating table yesterday in Ottawa, Ontario. Canadian Labor Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn invited the parties to meet with a federal mediator in an attempt to end the track maintenance workers’ strike, which the union launched May 15.

The Teamsters’ MOW division began picketing because the parties failed to agree on wage increases, benefit improvements and work rules. The previous contract covering the 3,200 CPR track, bridge and structure maintenance workers represented by the union expired on Dec. 31. The parties have been bargaining a new contract since July 2006.

Since the strike began, more than 1,300 MOW-trained CPR management employees have been performing the tasks of about 1,200 striking workers.

For now, federal officials do not plan to intervene by issuing back-to-work legislation — a strategy employed in April to end the United Transportation Union-Canada’s strike against Canadian National Railway Co. Instead, Canadian legislators are encouraging CPR and the Teamsters’ union to reach an agreement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/5/2007