Canadian Pacific still rolling: a strike is averted, company says

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Canadian Pacific said late Friday that it had reached agreement with two key unions, just hours before a strike that would have begun at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

No details of the agreement were disclosed in the statement released by CP. 

The agreement was with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train & Engine (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). "On the recommendation of federal mediators, the Minister of Labour will direct the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to administer a ratification vote on each of the company's final offers to the TCRC and IBEW," CP said in its statement.

Earlier Friday, the company released a statement that there had been progress with the TCRC earlier in the week and that talks were continuing with the IBEW. But an analyst who had been on the company's earnings calls Thursday said it appeared CP was ready to take a strike in the short term to help it reach longer-term goals. 

"CP will immediately begin to execute a safe and structured start-up of its train operations in Canada," the statement said. "As a result of today's announcement...CP will be able to continue to provide safe and efficient freight service for our customers."

The TCRC represents about 3,000 conductors and engineers, according to CP, while IBEW represents about 360 signal maintainers.