Teamsters Canada

Teamsters Canada

April 02, 2007 12:30 ET

Teamsters Canada: Rail Service in Jeopardy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 2, 2007) - Talks ended Friday, March 30, in the dispute between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference- Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC MWED) and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) without an agreement being reached. No further dates have been set for bargaining.

The parties had been negotiating since July, 2006 and were also involved in Federal Mediation and Conciliation which ended April 1, 2007. Their last collective agreement expired on December 31, 2006.

The Union could be in strike position as early as April 25th, 2007.

The TCRC MWED represents over 3,000 hard working men and women employed in the CPR's maintenance of way department. These are the people who build, inspect and maintain the tracks, bridges and structures for the safe operation of trains and rail traffic.

The main areas of contention are compensation, seniority, safety, equity and quality of life issues.

CPR has advertised record profits over the past years, with 2006 as the highest in their history. The maintenance of way employees are among the lowest paid in the company.

"We are committed to bargaining a fair and equitable contract and have been trying to do just that. But it takes the desire of both parties to achieve a negotiated settlement." said William Brehl, President of the TCRC MWED. "We do not want a strike, we want an agreement. A fair agreement."

"However we are also concerned that the company will attempt to keep up its high speed and high volume rail traffic in the event of a legal work stoppage, endangering the lives and properties of thousands of Canadians. In light of all the derailments reported in the media and the damage and danger they represent, we are praying that the CPR does not try to run its regular complement of trains without a full and properly trained workforce to protect them.

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