Thursday, May 31, 2012
Canada's labor minister calls for CP workers to voluntarily return to work before Senate vote
Canadian Labor Minister Lisa Raitt called for the 4,800 striking Canadian Pacific's freight railroad workers to voluntarily return to their jobs in advance of a Senate vote that will enforce back-to-work legislation.
"I'm asking the Teamsters and CP Rail to return to work starting from now in 12 hours," Raitt said to reporters at Canada's House of Commons soon after that legislative body passed a back-to-work bill.
News reports out of Canada speculate the Senate could pass the bill today that could have CP freight rail workers back on the job by Friday.
Canadian Pacific management and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference failed to resolve a contract dispute over pensions and non-union hires last week.
The most recent five-year collective agreement between the CP and its more than 4,800 conductors, engineers, rail traffic controllers and yard workers expired Dec. 31, 2011.
Raitt had previously said at a news conference after the rail strike was announced that the estimated impact to Canada's economy is approximately $540 million per week.
"The government is concerned about the national economic significance this will have and we are prepared to act in the interest of the national economy," she said.
The CP employee strike comes amid a prolonged proxy battle involving activist investor Bill Ackman over the leadership direction of Canada's second largest railway that resulted in chief executive Fred Green's recent resignation.
The major reported points of contention during management-labor negotiations have revolved around benefit pensions and lower cost contribution plans for non-union employees hired after July 1, 2010.
Obama signs off on Ex-Im reauthorization
Wash. State Senator calls for D.O.T. to establish freight office
Today's Cargo News Archives