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Rail News: Labor

Canadian MOW workers union contemplates CPR strike


A Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Maintenance of Way Employees Division strike is looming at Canadian Pacific Railway.

The union — which represents 3,000 of CPR’s MOW workers — might launch a strike on or about April 25 because no agreement has been reached, negotiations have bogged down and “no further dates have been set for bargaining,” officials said in a prepared statement.

The previous agreement expired on Dec. 31 and the railroad and union have been negotiating a new contract since July 2006. The parties had been involved in federal mediation, which ended April 1. The main areas of contention: compensation, seniority, safety, equity and quality of life issues, union officials said.

“We do not want a strike, we want an agreement,” said union President William Brehl. “But it takes the desire of both parties to achieve a negotiated settlement.”

For now, CPR officials are bracing for a potential strike.

“CPR has prepared a strike contingency plan to maintain operations across Canada and will implement it when and if necessary,” railroad officials said. “An adequate number of management employees have been trained to continue track maintenance work during a strike.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/3/2007