Bad-faith bargaining complaint filed against Canadian Pacific Railway

Union says company ‘continuously’ modifies original demands
||Last Updated: 03/07/2012

The union representing train crews and rail traffic controllers at Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has filed a bad-faith bargaining complaint against the rail company.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), the union representing CPR’s 4,800 engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers, filed the complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board on March 5.

“Based on the fact that the company does not answer our repeated requests to disclose necessary information related to their (health spending account) and pensions demands, the company’s decisions to continuously modify and add to their original demands, as well as using their pension demand to bargain to an impasse,” the TCRC announced on its website, “we have filed a complaint of unfair labour practice.”

CPR asked the federal government to appoint a conciliator to deal with pension issues in its negotiations with the union on Feb. 17. The company says a third-party expert will assist with settling the pension issue, which it says needs to be made more comparable to the rest of the industry.

“We've made changes to the management pension plan. The time to address this within our collective agreements is now,” CPR president Fred Green stated. “We have a number of proposed options for pension plan modifications, some of which align with the industry, all of which are fair to employees, and none of which have any impact on existing pensioners.”

CPR hasn’t commented on the bad-faith bargaining complaint.

The company’s contracts with TCRC expired on Dec. 31, 2011.

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