CP Canada Operations Halted by Labor Strife

Canadian Pacific operations in Canada were halted on Sunday due to a labor dispute.

The two sides can’t even agree on whether it is a strike or a lockout.

In a statement, CP said it is shutting down service across Canada and will work with its shippers as part of that process.

The two sides have been negotiating with a federal mediator but in the past week the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference had said its 3,000 members had authorized a strike while CP on March 16 said that if a new labor pact wasn’t reached in 72 hours it would lock out workers in an effort to force them to reach an agreement.

News reports indicate the two sides are at odds over wages, pensions and working conditions. The latter includes how much time away from home CP operating employees will be forced to spend with the union contending CP wants to be able to force workers to spend their federal reset break in some situations at an away from home terminal rather than the worker’s home terminal.

The two sides have been in negotiations since last September.

In dueling news releases issued on Monday each side blamed the other for the work stoppage.

The union has claimed that the dispute is both a lock out and a strike.

CP has urged the union to either agree to a new contract or accept binding arbitration. The latter is something the union has indicated it is willing to explore.

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