CP Rail talks to resume in Calgary after unions reject railway offer

CP Rail

Teamsters union members vote to reject CP Rail final offer - NEWS 1130

According to the statement of the Union which was released on Saturday, the Union members who are representing the Canadian Pacific Railway Limited conductors and locomotive engineers have served a notice to go on strike as early as May 29.

The vote comes as the country's two large railways are regaining momentum following the challenges of a tough winter that slowed service, particularly for grain.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents train and engine employees, rejected the company offer by a margin of 98 per cent with a voter turnout of 77 per cent.

"CP is offering more of the same contract language that workers just voted to reject a few hours ago", Doug Finnson, president of Teamsters Canada, said in the statement.

The union said it would immediately request that the railway resume negotiations to reach a deal without resorting to a strike.

A strike by the estimated 3,000 workers could be called if talks fail or if CP refuses to negotiate - but only after providing 72 hours notice, Teamsters Canada said in a statement. Union negotiators urge members to vote no.

CP train crews have voted for strike action three times in the past six years and engaged in two strikes since 2012.

"CP will continue to meet with the TCRC and the IBEW in the hopes of reaching agreements that are in the best interests of the entire CP family, its customers, shareholders and the broader North American economy", the railway said. In 2015, they ended a brief walkout and agreed to arbitration after the Harper government warned of back-to-work legislation.

CP Rail said it was disappointed with the outcome of the vote given that both final offers provided for "significant improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions that are consistent with agreements recently reached with other CP unions in both the United States and Canada". Three years earlier, federal back-to-work legislation was enacted to end a 10-day strike.

The unions' main concerns in the dispute are fatigue and labour policy relations and management practices.

CP Rail has previously warned that a work stoppage would hurt its ability to provide safe and efficient freight and passenger/commuter service.

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