CP conductors, engineers serve strike notice

(CPR.ca)

Unionized engineers and conductors on Canadian Pacific Railway’s (CP) trains have served formal notice they’ll strike Sunday, barring a negotiated deal with the company.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents CP’s locomotive engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmen, said Tuesday it’s notified CP that the affected workers will strike effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday “in the event ongoing negotiations do not result in an agreement.”

Negotiators from the TCRC and CP are meeting this week in Montreal, with Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services staff. The TCRC’s previous collective agreement with CP expired at the end of 2014.

In a release Tuesday, TCRC president Douglas Finnson said the union’s CP membership is “determined to achieve a negotiated settlement” and “optimistic that CP will be able to agree with an acceptable set of terms the membership will ratify.”

That said, Calgary-based CP so far has been “completely unable to provide the majority of our members with any sort of accurate information on when they are required to work,” he added.

CP negotiators, he said, “have admitted their line-up model is completely unpredictable and they are simply unable to fix it.” Also, Finnson said, CP is “either unwilling or unable to comply with the collective agreements that require train crews stop operating and obtain rest after 10 continuous hours of work.”

A CP spokesperson was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Barring negotiated deals, federal back-to-work legislation or both, the worst-case scenario for rail-reliant Prairie grain growers will see TCRC-represented conductors and engineers at CP and engineers at Canadian National Railway (CN) either on strike or locked out as early as next week.

Talks between CN and the TCRC were due to end Jan. 24, followed by a mandatory 21-day cooling-off period, after which work stoppage could begin at CN at the same time as a CP strike, as per the TCRC’s notice.

The TCRC’s previous collective agreement with CN for engineers also expired at the end of 2014. — AGCanada.com Network

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