CP Rail unions overwhelmingly reject contract offers

Marco Green
May 28, 2018

Some 3,000 conductors and locomotive engineers voted 98.1 per cent to reject CP's final offer on Friday, while about 360 signals and communications employees, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, voted 97.2 per cent to authorize strike action, the statement said.

The union said it would immediately request that the railway resume negotiations to reach a deal without resorting to a strike.

Nearly 100 per cent of their members who voted on the latest offer rejected it, with turnouts ranging from 77 to 89 per cent.

The unions have the option of filing a 72 hour strike notice, but the Teamsters say they want an immediate resumption of contract talks to avoid a work stoppage.

More than 98% of the almost 2,500 ballots cast by train crews represented by the Teamsters union opposed the contract, which CP called its "final offer"; a strike by Teamsters train crews would be the third since 2012.

"CP's actions have forced us to vote for strike action three times in the past six years".

A statement on CP Rail's website said the company will continue to meet with the unions in the hopes of reaching a deal. Three years earlier, federal back-to-work legislation was enacted to end a 10-day strike.

CP Rail said it was disappointed with the vote results from both unions and will be meeting with both sides later Friday to discuss the next steps, according to a statement posted to the company website.

CP Rail has previously warned that a work stoppage would hurt its ability to provide safe and efficient freight and passenger/commuter service.

Steenhoek said one of his members, an agricultural shipper that declined to have its name published, fears a CP strike in Canada would "result in them having to slow their processing plants down or shut down entirely".

"Our government believes in the collective bargaining process and I remain hopeful that the parties will be able to negotiate new collective agreements", she said in a statement.

The Teamsters bargaining team rejected the financial offer and was unhappy that the fatigue of its members wasn't addressed by the company. The union had also denounced the "abusive practices in the field of labour relations" of the company, referring in particular to the management of grievances and the number of dismissals to increase.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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