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CP Rail and Teamsters agree to final arbitration

Some 3,000 conductors, engineers, train and yard workers were returning to their jobs as of noon today after Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC)  announced an agreement in Calgary early Tuesday morning to enter into final binding arbitration.

A work stoppage had been in effect since midnight Sunday, causing considerable alarm among Canadian farmers and manufacturers over an escalation of existing supply chain challenges. Some business interests had called for possible rapid back-to-work legislation.

The agreement was hailed by federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Reagan. He said the outcome was “further evidence that when employers and unions work together, we get the best results for Canadians and our economy.”

“CP is pleased to have reached agreement with the TCRC Negotiating Committee to enter into binding arbitration and end this work stoppage,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “This agreement enables us to return to work effective noon Tuesday local time to resume our essential services for our customers and the North American supply chain.”

“The decision to agree to final and binding arbitration is not taken lightly,”  said Dave Fulton, TCRC spokesperson at the bargaining table. “While arbitration is not the preferred method, we were able to negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of our members.  Our members will return to work at 12:00 (noon) local time today.”

Wages and pensions remain stumbling blocks in the negotiations for a new collective agreement, Mr. Fulton noted. (CP photo)