of good faith, the union will attempt to resume negotiations after
CP’s final offer is rejected and before any possible strike action.
Should talks fail or CP not wish to bargain, workers will exercise
their right to strike after 72 hours’ advance notice.
“May 23 is Judgment Day at Canadian Pacific,” said the president of
the TCRC, Doug Finnson. “CP has done everything it can to make a
strike inevitable, but they can still avoid a work stoppage by
bargaining in good faith.”
“Teamsters are ready negotiate
with CP but we cannot bargain alone,” he added. “CP has to be ready
to settle outstanding issues and to provide workers with a good and
fair collective agreement.”
On April 20, the Minister of Labour, on the advice of federal
mediators, agreed to CP’s request to order a vote on a final offer
to Teamster members. This development postponed a strike that was
set to begin on April 21 at 0:01 a.m. ET.
Workers will be
mailed voting information over the coming days and will be able to
cast their ballots via telephone and Internet. Results of the vote
are expected to be known sometime on May 23.
Final offer falls short
CP’s final offer does not address workers’ issues and concerns. It
also underestimates workers’ anger with the company’s abusive labour
relations policy and management practices.
“Fatigue is a critical issue with CP. You can’t safely work in the
rail industry if you’ve been awake for too long,” explained Doug
Finnson. “Another irritant is the fact that CP wants to pay workers
less than at Canadian National, its biggest competitor.”
While just over 3000 workers are covered by the collective
agreement, there are over 8000 outstanding grievances filed against
CP. This is after the union won thousands of cases in 2017.
Moreover, cases of dismissed workers rose by 500% at the Canadian
Railway Office of Arbitration since CP adopted a discipline-based
labour relations strategy.
"CP designed their final offer to entice workers to abandon their
grievances, some of which are valued in the tens of thousands of
dollars,” concluded the union leader. “CP is offering a fraction of
what we think the company owes, and our members see through that
Over 3000 conductors and locomotive
engineers at CP voted 94.2% to authorize strike action on April 6.
Commuter train services would not be affected in the event of a
strike by Teamster members.
Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers in Canada in all
industries, including over 10,000 in the rail sector. The
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada
is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Director of Public Affairs, Teamsters