Canadian Manufacturing

CP Railway says it has received strike notice from union, work stoppage to start as early as Mar. 20

The Canadian Press
   

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The two sides are at odds over 26 outstanding issues, including wages, benefits and pensions.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said on Mar. 17 that it has received strike notice from the union representing its engineers, conductors and other train employees.

The move is the latest escalation in a labour dispute at the Calgary-based railway that could result in a potential nation-wide work stoppage as early as 1 a.m. EST on Mar. 20.

CP Rail indicated on Mar. 16 that it had issued a 72-hour notice to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference of its plan to lock out almost 3,000 employees on Sunday, if the union and the company are unable to come to a negotiated settlement or agree to binding arbitration.

The two sides are at odds over 26 outstanding issues, including wages, benefits and pensions.

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But Canadian business organizations are calling on Ottawa to prevent a potential work stoppage at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., which could further hamper companies recovering from COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain problems.

Roughly 45 industry groups said on Mar. 17 that any disruption would hinder Canada’s freight capacity and hurt the broader economy as it grapples with inflation, product shortages, rising fuel costs and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Any disruption would further cripple Canada’s freight capacity and have a profound impact on not only rail shippers, but all shippers, including trucking and air, throughout the broader Canadian economy,” the groups said in a statement.

“It would do irrevocable damage to Canadian supply chains that would extend beyond our borders and harm our reputation as a reliable partner in international trade.”

The groups behind the statement included the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the Business Council of Canada.

Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan said on Mar. 16 that Ottawa is “monitoring the situation closely” and wants both parties to consider making compromises to reach a deal that is fair for workers and the employer.

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