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CP Rail strike ends

CP Rail strike ends after just one day as both sides agree to arbitration – A meeting between Minister Leitch and the Teamsters Union has made it possible to break the deadlock between Canadian Pacific (CP) and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

The parties have agreed to a mediation and arbitration process to address all of the outstanding issues which had caused the strike. One major issue is fatigue management and the necessity to implement broad based and effective fatigue countermeasures for the rail workers.

Train operations will begin tomorrow, in a manner which will allow an organized start up to operations, also ensuring the workers have an opportunity to be well rested prior to once again operating trains throughout Canada.

“We took this strike action to improve the quality of life and the working conditions for our membership,” points out Doug Finnson, the president of the TCRC. “Our preference is to negotiate these improvements through collective bargaining, and the worst thing that could happen is a legislated process. These issues are far too important to our members to have a legislated process decide the issue. Consequently the better option is to use a fair mediation and arbitration dispute resolution in front of an independent arbitrator, where we can demonstrate that our plan is a proven fatigue management system which is highly regarded for a long time and is far superior to what the employer seeks to obtain.”

Mr. Finnson adds: “We are reasonably confident of being able to put an end to years of hardship by our members, and to improve the dysfunction system presently in place.”

Another significant issue that will be addressed is the poor relationship CP management has adopted towards the workers, which has developed into massive numbers of outstanding grievances that need to be resolved. The Labour Code provides significant power to the Minister to address this matter and we will seek this service with vigor.

The Teamsters Union now hopes that the employer will finally abide by the collective agreement’s clauses setting out the workers’ entitled rest periods.

The TCRC remains available to achieve a negotiated settlement at any time should the employer chose to agree.

The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

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