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Union members mull strike at Canadian Pacific

Results of poll on whether to strike will be tabulated at end of February

A Canadian Pacific train. (Photo: Shutterstock/David Marion Photography)

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) plans to poll 3,000 members at Canadian Pacific on whether members should go on strike. The results of the poll will be tabulated by the end of February.

TCRC said the main issues that the union wants addressed relate to wages, benefits and pensions. Members include locomotive engineers, conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons. 

FreightWaves reached out to the union for further comment but didn’t receive additional information by press time. The last time union members went on strike at CP was May 2018, although it ended within days. At that time, the train and engine members of the TCRC and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers signed a four-year agreement with CP. That collective agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

In response to TCRC’s actions, CP (NYSE: CP) said: “CP has negotiated in good faith with the TCRC since last September, and those labour negotiations are continuing. CP has an excellent track record of successful collective bargaining with our unions, and is seeking a new agreement with TCRC to create labour stability that is essential for Canada’s economic recovery from the pandemic and supply chain challenges.”

TCRC said Thursday that it has served a notice of dispute to the minister of labor under the Canada Labor Code per federal labor regulations. The minister of labor in turn has appointed a conciliator/mediator to work through the process. 

After the conciliation process is complete, a legal work stoppage may occur 21 days afterward. 

TCRC is affiliated with the Teamsters. In November 2019, TCRC members went on strike at CP rival CN (NYSE: CNI). That strike lasted for eight days.

Last year, CP and Teamsters Rail Conference Rail Canada Traffic Controllers reached a three-year agreement.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.