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The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Train & Engine (TCRC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Monday issued notice to Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. advising of their respective plans to strike at 10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 29. The TCRC and the IBEW provided more than the necessary 72-hour notice after voting last week to reject the Class 1’s final contract offers. In both cases, the parties gave more than the required 72-hour notice.
IBEW System Council No. 11 reached a tentative three-year deal late May 29 that “ensures that  IBEW employees remain on the job and passenger operations are not impacted, ” CP said.
CP President and CEO Keith Creel thanked the IBEW bargaining committee for their hard work and their creativity. “We have come through a number of challenging years to become an operational leader,” Creel said. “I look forward to working with this union to become the employer of choice.” IBEW Senior General Chairman Steve Martin expressed that while negotiations were difficult, “in the end we have reached a good deal for our membership and we’re looking forward to building on the momentum of the past few days.”
The TCRC did not reach agreement with CP, and roughly 3,000 conductors and engineers walked off the job at 10 p.m. ET as negotiations continued with the assistance of federal mediators. TCRC said the strike by its members began despite “best efforts to reach a negotiated settlement,” adding it is “willing to remain at the bargaining table during the strike.” The union added that Bombardier operates commuter rail services in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver not CP; TCRC members who operate trains in those cities are Bombardier employees and will not go on strike.
The TCRC strike could force CP to shut down its freight service at a particularly difficult time for grain farmers. Shippers had said they expected talks would fail, resulting in the third CP Rail strike since 2012, several Canadian media outlets reported.
According to the Toronto Star, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government would not be rushed into introducing back-to-work legislation, preferring instead to employ “various levers to motivate both sides to reach a settlement.” Trudeau also said his government would not do as the Conservatives did and favor employers. “Quite frankly, we have companies that have gotten used to the fact that in certain industries, the government in the past was very quick to legislate against unions,” Trudeau said during a conference in Toronto. “We are not going to do that.”
The conductors and engineers voted 94% in favor of strike action to back their contract demands in early April and voted 98% to reject CP’s final offer on May 25. Both unions in late April gave strike notice but relented at the last minute after a federal mediator intervened.
The post C IBEW settles, TCRC strikes appeared first on Railway Age.
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