Retail Council of Canada, along with 45 other business organizations, have released the following statement on the potential work stoppage at CP Rail.
Canadian businesses are calling on the federal government to do what is best for Canada’s economy. The federal government must act to prevent a Canadian Pacific (CP) work stoppage now.
Supply chains are under serious strain both here and around the world. Many of the issues Canada can’t fix by itself, but some we can.
A work stoppage of any length will have a deep and adverse impact for all Canadians who rely on the essential rail supply chain and for the broader Canadian economy. Any disruption would further cripple Canada’s freight capacity and have a profound impact on not only rail shippers, but all shippers, including trucking and air, throughout the broader Canadian economy. It would do irrevocable damage to Canadian supply chains that would extend beyond our borders and harm our reputation as a reliable partner in international trade.
CP has stated that it is willing to immediately enter binding arbitration to resolve this matter without a work stoppage. The government must do everything in its power to get the union to agree.
Retail Council of Canada, 45 other Canadian business organizations
CP Rail statement: Employee lock-out date set for Sunday
CP Rail confirmed Thursday it had issued a 72-hour notice of its plan to lock-out employees with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference at 00:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, March 20, 2022 if a settlement is not reached. Read the full statement from CP Rail here or read below.
“CP has issued 72-hour notice to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) of its plan to lock-out employees at 00:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, March 20, 2022 if the union leadership and the company are unable to come to a negotiated settlement. The TCRC represents approximately 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers across Canada.
CP took this undesirable step because we cannot prolong the uncertainty associated with a potential strike for weeks or months. Since Sunday, TCRC has been in a position to issue a 72-hour strike notice, introducing uncertainty into the supply chain that is already being felt. We take this action today to bring that uncertainty to an end. Delaying resolution of this situation would only make things worse.
The world needs Canada’s resources and an efficient transportation system to deliver them more than ever. This need will only increase as we move forward, placing even more importance on a reliable supply chain, not less.
Having negotiated in good faith since September, we are deeply disappointed that we find ourselves in this position. Yesterday CP tabled an offer that addressed a total of 26 outstanding issues between the parties, including an offer to resolve the TCRC’s key issues, wages, benefits and pensions through final and binding arbitration.
On Wednesday, the TCRC leadership rejected CP’s offer and, contrary to public statements by TCRC spokesman Dave Fulton that wages, benefits and pensions were the key issues, the union continues to table new work rule demands. In rejecting our offer, the TCRC’s proposal included an even more onerous pension demand. The TCRC’s latest position would, if accepted, be even more destabilizing to CP’s Defined Benefit Pension Plan the pension plan for all of CP’s unionized employees, not just the 10% who are TCRC members.
CP will continue to bargain in good faith with the TCRC leadership to achieve a negotiated settlement or agreement to enter arbitration. The Canadian economy could avoid all the pain and damage of a work stoppage if the TCRC would agree to binding arbitration, an outcome we continue to push for.
At the same time, CP has commenced its work stoppage contingency plan and will work closely with customers to ensure a smooth, efficient and safe wind-down of Canadian operations.”