CP rail strike comes to an end

by World Grain Staff
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CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA — Canadian Pacific (CP) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) on Feb. 16 agreed to enter into binding arbitration, putting an end to the work stoppage by CP's locomotive engineers and conductors.

"This decision ensures both sides will get back to the table, and gets us back to moving Canada's economy forward," said E. Hunter Harrison, CP's chief executive officer. "While we would have preferred a negotiated settlement, this is the right thing to do at this time."

An arbitrator will be appointed by the federal government.

One major issue is fatigue management and the necessity to implement broad based and effective fatigue countermeasures for the rail workers, the Teamsters said.

Train operations started on Feb. 17, in a manner which will allow an organized start up to operations, also ensuring the workers have an opportunity to be well rested prior to once again operating trains throughout Canada.

“We took this strike action to improve the quality of life and the working conditions for our membership,” said Doug Finnson, the president of the TCRC. “Our preference is to negotiate these improvements through collective bargaining, and the worst thing that could happen is a legislated process. These issues are far too important to our members to have a legislated process decide the issue. Consequently the better option is to use a fair mediation and arbitration dispute resolution in front of an independent arbitrator, where we can demonstrate that our plan is a proven fatigue management system which is highly regarded for a long time and is far superior to what the employer seeks to obtain.”

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