MONTREAL, Que. — More than 3,000 Teamsters members have gone on strike at the Canadian Pacific Railway after contract talks failed to reach an agreement before the midnight deadline February 14.
A strike by the railway’s 1,800 Unifor members was averted when a tentative agreement was reached in Montreal just minutes before the strike deadline.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union represents 3,300 locomotive engineers and other train workers at CP.
On Sunday morning, CP said it would deploy management personnel to operate a reduced freight service on its Canadian network.
The railway also said it would be advising its customers on how they would be affected by the work stoppage, said a CTV report.
Labour and Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch issued a statement after the talks failed, saying
“I am incredibly disappointed that the TCRC failed to reach an agreement with CP Rail,” she said.
Leitch was also clear about the federal government’s next course of action.
“Due to this reckless disregard for Canadians, and the Canadian economy, our government will review all available options to end any work-stoppage expediently, up to and including the introduction of legislation in Parliament.”
The minister urged the union to end the strike immediately and return to the negotiating table.
Teamsters Canada president Douglas Finnson said that despite the “complete breakdown” of bargaining Saturday night the union had advised CP that its negotiators would remain available to broker an agreement that would ensure “a healthy and safe” work environment for its members.
Julia Kuzeljevich is Editor of Canadian Shipper. She has been writing about transportation and logistics issues since 1999. All posts by Julia Kuzeljevich