Canadian Pacific Railway employees are back on the job today after the company and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference announced this morning that they have agreed to final and binding arbitration to end a work stoppage that began last weekend.
“This agreement enables us to return to work effective noon Tuesday local time to resume our essential services for our customers and the North American supply chain,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel in a statement.
“CP will immediately begin working with customers to resume normal train operations across Canada as soon as possible,” Creel said.
“The decision to agree to final and binding arbitration is not taken lightly,” said TCRC spokesperson Dave Fulton. “While arbitration is not the preferred method, we were able to negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of our members.”
The TCRC noted that wages and pensions “remain stumbling blocks” to hammering out a new contract for the 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers that it represents.
This outcome is further evidence that when employers and unions work together, we get the best results for Canadians and for our economy, said Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan in a statement thanking both sides for “staying at the table and putting the necessary work to come to a resolution.”
According to the Labour minister’s office, normal business operations will continue during the arbitration period, at the end of which a new collective agreement will be established. Talks between the two sides are being facilitated by mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Industry groups had been urging the Trudeau government to immediately introduce back-to-work legislation to end the work stoppage, but O’Regan said over the weekend that he believed having the two sides remain at the bargaining table would produce a better outcome.