Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) has issued a 72-hour notice to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC)-Train & Engine of its plan to lock out employees at 00:01 Eastern Time on March 20, if the union leadership and the company are unable to come to a negotiated settlement or agree to binding arbitration.
TCRC-T&E represents about 3,100 railway-running trades employees, including locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard employees. Their contract with CP expired on December 31, 2021.
A conciliation officer was appointed on December 24 to help the two sides in their negotiations. A 60-day conciliation period commenced the next day, on December 25. During that period and the 21-day cooling-off period that followed it, no strike or lockout was allowed. The 81 days total for those two periods ended on March 16, making that day the first possible date for a legal work stoppage.
The company and union have been meeting daily over the past week with federal mediators to reach a new negotiated collective agreement in hopes of avoiding a labour disruption. CP said in a statement that, despite those talks, “our positions remain far apart.”
Announcing the lockout on March 16, Keith Creel, CP President and CEO, said: “For the sake of our employees, our customers, the supply chain we serve and the Canadian economy that is trying to recover from multiple disruptions, we simply cannot prolong for weeks or months the uncertainty associated with a potential labour disruption. The world has never needed Canada’s resources and an efficient transportation system to deliver them more than it does today. Delaying resolution would only make things worse. We take this action with a view to bringing this uncertainty to an end.”
On March 15, CP tabled an offer that addressed 26 outstanding issues between the parties; the TCRC leadership rejected the offer.
“We are deeply disappointed that we find ourselves in this position,” said Creel. “CP will continue to bargain in good faith with the TCRC leadership to achieve a negotiated settlement or enter binding arbitration. The Canadian economy could avoid all the pain and damage of a work stoppage if the TCRC would agree to binding arbitration, an outcome we continue to push for.”
CP has commenced its work stoppage contingency plan and will work with customers in winding down its Canadian operations.
Canada’s Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., said: “The Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, and I understand the impacts of a potential work stoppage and are monitoring the situation closely. We are encouraged to see that both parties are still negotiating. We have been in touch with the parties directly, urging them to work together to resolve their issues and reach a deal as quickly as possible, and will continue to do so.
“The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has been working closely with the parties since December to help them reach an agreement and remains with them at the table to assist them in their negotiations.”
Splash launches 72-page shipmanagement special
Splash today launches a comprehensive shipmanagement magazine featuring the views of more than 100 top executives deliberating on where this fast growing sector will go in the 2020s.
The 72-page magazine is the latest output from Splash’s new Special Reports division headed by Victor Halder. The publication includes deep dives into topics managers are wrestling with day in, day out such as decarbonisation, digitalisation, ESG, crew welfare, pools and training with Splash reporters from across our network contributing to this global title.
“Shipmanagement as a sector finds itself at a bit of a crossroads in the early 2020s. On the one hand, the upcoming complex regulatory tsunami combined with the many new financial entrants into shipowning augurs well for business growth. However, there’s also the growing strength that tech providers have – increasingly reaching into domains that had been the bread and butter of many a manager over the years. How shipmanagers navigate the 2020s forms the thrust of this magazine, which we hope provides readers with an engaging, unique insight into a business segment in flux,” commented editorial director Sam Chambers.
The magazine will be distributed at Posidonia and at this year’s Maritime CEO Forums in Asia and Europe. Splash readers can access the full magazine for free online by clicking here.
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Author: Kim Biggar