CP Rail Locks Out Teamsters – Railway Shutdown Ongoing

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CP Rail locomotive
CP Rail locomotive

CALGARY – BUSINESS – Canadian Pacific has locked out its Teamsters workers after talks facilitated by federal mediators failed to come to a contract agreement.

In a statement issued early Sunday, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) says that while the company was still engaged in ongoing negotiations facilitated by federal mediators, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) withdrew its services and issued a news release misrepresenting the status of the talks.

“We are deeply disappointed that, in the final hours before a legal strike or lockout was to potentially occur, the TCRC Negotiating Committee failed to respond to the company’s latest offer that was presented to them by the federal mediators,” said Keith Creel, CP President and Chief Executive Officer. “Instead, the TCRC opted to withdraw their services before the deadline for a strike or lockout could legally take place. The TCRC is well aware of the damage this reckless action will cause to the Canadian supply chain.”

Additionally, CP states, ” Prior to the midnight deadline, the TCRC Negotiating Committee issued a news release that completely misrepresented the truth. The release falsely claimed that CP had initiated a lockout. Contrary to the TCRC Negotiating Committee’s claim, the work stoppage was initiated by the TCRC. In reality, it was CP, with the Director General, Federal and Conciliation Services, that remained waiting at the table with the desire to continue bargaining.

“This is clearly a failure of the TCRC Negotiating Committee’s responsibility to negotiate in good faith. The company will be reviewing avenues to have this egregious behavior properly addressed”.

As a result of the TCRC’s action, CP is executing a safe and structured shutdown of its train operations across Canada and will work closely with customers to wind-down Canadian operations.

Teamsters Blame Lockout on Canadian Pacific

As Canadians grapple with a never-ending pandemic, exploding commodity prices and the war in Ukraine, the rail carrier is adding an unnecessary layer of insecurity, especially for those who depend on the rail network…

Teamsters Canada says, that. “Despite the best efforts of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) Negotiating Committee, there will be a lockout tonight at Canadian Pacific (CP). A lockout is a work stoppage initiated by company management during a labour dispute. Unlike a strike, in which employees refuse to work, a lockout is initiated by the employer.

Shortly before the lockout was announced, the Teamsters Union expressed its desire to continue bargaining. Unfortunately, the employer chose to put the Canadian supply chain and tens of thousands of jobs at risk according to the union. “As Canadians grapple with a never-ending pandemic, exploding commodity prices and the war in Ukraine, the rail carrier is adding an unnecessary layer of insecurity, especially for those who depend on the rail network”.

“We are very disappointed with this turn of events,” said Dave Fulton, TCRC spokesperson at the bargaining table. “Canadian Pacific management must be taken to task for this situation. They set the deadline for a lockout to happen tonight, when we were willing to pursue negotiations. Even more so, they then moved the goalpost when it came time to discuss the terms of final and binding arbitration.”

In final and binding arbitration, the parties agree to accept the arbitrator’s decision as final. The Teamsters were willing to explore this type of arbitration, but were unable to reach an agreement with the employer.

Wages and pensions remain major stumbling blocks. However, also at issue in these talks are working conditions that call into question the railway’s capacity to recruit and retain workforce members.

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