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Rail News: Labor

Strike averted: CP, two unions reach 11th-hour agreements


Canadian Pacific late Friday negotiated its way out of a strike two unions were set to launch shortly after midnight. The Class I reached an agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train & Engine (TCRC) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which planned to begin a work stoppage at CP at 12:01 a.m. on April 21.

Per a recommendation from federal mediators, Canadian Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labor Patty Hajdu directed the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to administer a ratification vote on each of the railroad’s final offers to the TCRC and IBEW, CP officials said in a press release. The parties didn’t release any details on the pacts. The TCRC and IBEW represent 3,000 conductors and 360 signal maintainers at CP, respectively.

"I want to thank the leadership of the TCRC, IBEW and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for their hard work, collaboration and openness to getting this situation resolved without a work stoppage," said CP President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Creel. "This is tremendous news for our employees, our customers and the Canadian economy."

CP late Friday began to start up its train operations in Canada; the Class I had been ramping down operations as the strike deadline neared.

“As a result of [the agreements], there will be no disruption to the commuter-rail companies operating on CP's network and we will be able to continue to provide safe and efficient freight service for our customers,” CP officials said.

However, TCRC and IBEW leaders say they are only postponing a strike until their members vote on the agreements.

“CP succeeded in delaying the inevitable. The government will bring this ridiculous offer to our members and we strongly recommend that members vote against it," said TCRC President Doug Finnson.

Adds Steve Martin, senior general chairman of IBEW System Council No. 11: “The fact that CP thinks their offer has a chance … of being ratified shows how out of touch they are with their employees. The company is in for a wakeup call."

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More News from 4/23/2018