Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) issued a strike notice on Feb. 10.
The union advised CP negotiators that its entire bargaining unit of locomotive engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmen will exercise their legal right to strike if ongoing negotiations do not result in an agreement by 12 a.m. on Feb. 14.
The announcement puts the union in a position to strike as early as 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 15.
According to TCRC president Douglas Finnson, the union is determined to achieve a negotiated settlement. Several issues remain unresolved, however.
Finnson said the employer’s line up model is unpredictable, leaving workers without accurate information on when they are required to work.
“Furthermore,” he said, “CP is either unwilling or unable to comply with the collective agreements that require train crews to stop operating and obtain rest after 10 continuous hours of work.”
The parties began bargaining on the new contract in December 2013. Negotiations are ongoing, with the parties meeting in Montreal with the assistance of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.
“Canadian Pacific is committed to finding a workable solution with the union and continues to bargain in good faith,” said Peter Edwards, vice president of the company’s human resources and labour relations.
According to CP, its offer included wage increases, better benefit plans and a model to improve the scheduling of regular time off.
Subject to the union’s decision to strike, CP will implement its contingency plan and deploy management employees to maintain a reduced freight service on its Canadian network.
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