Unionized Canadian Pacific workers locked out
Locomotive engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmen, some 3,000 unionized employees of Canadian Pacific (CP) are find themselves locked out since midnight on Sunday morning as negotiations for the renewal of their collective agreement broke down.
Wages and pensions, as well as working conditions would be the main stumbling blocks of the talks.
Unionized workers at CP recently voted 96.7% in favor of going on strike if no agreement was signed between the two sides by Saturday's deadline. For its part, the CP had signified, on Wednesday, its intention to lock out its employees.
Shortly before the announcement of the lockout, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), the union representing CP employees, expressed its wish to continue to negotiate, we learn in a press release.
“Unfortunately, the employer has chosen to put the Canadian supply chain and tens of thousands of jobs at risk. After a pandemic, the explosion of food and product prices, the war in Ukraine, the rail carrier adds a layer of insecurity among Canadians, especially those who depend on the rail network, “can we read in the release in question.
CFTC spokesman at the bargaining table, Dave Fulton, says he is very disappointed with the turn of events.
“Management Canadian Pacific must assume full responsibility for the situation. It was CP who declared the lockout scheduled for tonight, when we were ready to continue negotiations. In addition, they then changed the rules of the game at the last minute when it came time to discuss the terms of final and binding arbitration,” he argues.
The Teamsters were ready to explore arbitration as a solution to the ongoing negotiations, but would not have succeeded in reaching an agreement with the employer to this effect, we also learn in the press release from the CFTC.
More details to come.