The union representing 3,000 conductors and locomotive engineers who work for CP Rail says it has reached a tentative deal with the railway, less than 24 hours after its members went on strike.
“We believe this is a fair contract that our members can feel good about ratifying. I am personally very satisfied with what we have negotiated,” says Doug Finnson, president of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, in a statement.
Teamsters members walked off the job at 10pm eastern on Tuesday. The union says CP operations will resume Thursday at 6 am local time across Canada.
The four-year agreement must still be ratified, a process which is expected to take several months. The union says details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification, while communicating more information with its members.
“This is a positive result for our TCRC employees and their families, the 12,000-strong CP family, our customers and the entire Canadian economy,” says Keith Creel, CP’s president and CEO. “It is especially meaningful to achieve a four-year tentative agreement with our valued locomotive engineers and conductors, providing long-term stability for all parties involved. This is a significant step toward a renewed positive relationship growing forward together serving our customers and the Canadian economy.”
The union is also thanking the federal government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for not intervening.
“Previous governments were all too eager to threaten back to work legislation, acting quickly on behalf of employers against workers and their unions,” says Finnson. “We thank the government for proving that collective bargaining can work when it’s allowed to.”
Several agriculture industry groups, including Grain Growers of Canada, the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association, and Fertilizer Canada, were calling on the federal government to act to keep CP trains rolling.
“The announcement today that the 3000 members of the Teamsters union will be back at work tomorrow, ending a work stoppage less than 24 hours old is good news for Canadian shippers,” says Jeff Neilsen, president of Grain Growers of Canada, in a statement welcoming the end of the strike. “With this positive news, and the recent passage of Bill C-49, grain farmers are excited about the opportunity that exists to have a rail transportation system that works for hard working farm families and the rural communities they live in.”