CP Rail union formally serves strike notice

Union members representing Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd’s conductors, locomotive engineers and communications employees have served a notice to strike as early as May 29, according to a union statement released on Saturday.

The strike notice comes a day after the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference rejected the company’s latest contract offer.

“After workers at CP voted to reject the last contract offers, the company is still refusing to negotiate seriously,” the statement said.

Canadian Pacific is the country’s second-largest railroad.

Some 3,000 conductors and locomotive engineers voted 98.1 per cent to reject CP’s final offer on Friday, while about 360 signals and communications employees, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, voted 97.2 per cent to authorize strike action, the statement said.

Commuter train services such as Go Transit would not be affected in the event of a strike by Teamster members.

The labour strife comes at a time of tighter rail capacity in Canada, with CP and rival Canadian National facing strong demand for shipments of grain, potash and other commodities.

The union members are committed to working with federal mediators to reach a negotiated settlement and are willing to remain at the bargaining table until the May 29 strike deadline and beyond, the statement added.

The workers, whose collective agreement expired late last year, are asking for more predictable schedules to combat crew fatigue, among other demands.

SOURCE: CBC.ca

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