Teamsters Canada

Teamsters Canada

April 16, 2007 17:11 ET

CPRail Backs Off From Talks With Teamsters

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 16, 2007) - Negotiations between CPRail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC MWED) broke down on March 30th in Montreal.

Talks were tentatively scheduled to resume on April 16th in Calgary but the company has backed away.

"On April 11th, the company suggested the 16th to the 19th in Calgary and we responded to say that we were available and to let us know a location." William Brehl President of the TCRC MWED said.

"The company then responded with second thoughts about meeting and committed to meeting only if the government mediators, who were released on April 2nd, thought it would be a good idea. At this point we have not heard back. Though both parties are presently committed to their positions, we do not believe that a negotiated solution can be found if there is no dialogue."

The TCRC MWED's contract expired on December 31, 2006 and the parties have completed the mandatory 60 day conciliation period without coming to agreement. They are now in the 21 day "cooling off" period prior to being in position to serve 72 hour strike/lockout notice.

The Union has put out a secret strike vote which will be completed on April 17th. If the mandate is in favour of a work stoppage, it could put the Union on strike as early as April 25th.

Though negotiations may continue during the "cooling off" period, the Union states that the company has not been receptive.

"The Teamsters want a negotiated settlement. We do not want the government to have to step in. We do not want to disrupt the country. We believe that a negotiated settlement is possible, but only if the parties sit down and talk. However, that is obviously not the company's wish, so we will be governed accordingly." Brehl said earlier today.

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