Shipping and Logistics

Canadian Pacific Issues 72-hour Lockout Notice to Workers

Written by David Schollaert


North American’s supply-chain problems may be further complicated by a work stoppage of Canadian railway workers beginning Monday. The Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) issued a 72-hour lockout notice to Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents more than 3,000 engineers, conductors and other personnel, in the event the two sides can’t reach a negotiated settlement by midnight March 20.

Negotiations have been unsuccessful since September, and union members have voted to authorize a strike over wages, pension and benefits.

“It was well known that CP was going to force a work stoppage and lock out our members. They have done just that,” said Dave Fulton, spokesperson for TCRC. “At the bargaining table, CP continues to dismiss our members’ demands and are unwilling to negotiate the issues they have created. We remain committed to reaching an acceptable agreement that addresses our members’ issues. Our members are fully engaged and will be ready in the event CP carries out the notice.”

“We are deeply disappointed that we find ourselves in this position,” said Keith Creel, CP’s president and CEO. “CP will continue to bargain in good faith with the TCRC leadership to achieve a negotiated settlement or enter binding 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.”

The Canadian agriculture and manufacturing industries have expressed their concerns regarding the impact of a walkout by railway workers. A work stoppage disrupting rail transport would be another blow to the North American steel industry, which continues to struggle with various bottlenecks.

The railroad has warned that a strike “will impact virtually all commodities within the Canadian supply chain, thereby crippling the performance of Canada’s trade-dependent economy.”

By David Schollaert, David@SteelMarketUpdate.com

David Schollaert

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