MONTREAL, Feb. 15, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) has announced the negotiations process at Canadian Pacific (CP) has failed and there is no agreement reached with the employer's management team. Effective 0001, February 15 the TCRC membership is officially on legal strike across Canada. Despite the efforts of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) to assist the parties to achieve a negotiated agreement, negotiations ended tonight.
"Late tonight it was revealed how severe the concessionary demands of the employer really are", indicated TCRC President Douglas Finnson. "Less than two hours before the expiration of the cooling off period, the final package of concessions amounted to much the same thing as the hourly agreement this same management team tried to impose on our Brothers and Sisters at Canadian National (CN) in 2007. Those tactics resulted in a National Rail Strike at CN then, and unfortunately have done so again today at CP."
"Picket lines are now being set up across Canada and the rail shut down is happening," said President Finnson.
A particularly sensitive situation is the announcement by CP to use other workers to run trains. "During our final discussions tonight we explained to CP Chief Operating Officer, Keith Creel, that we had received reports of American citizens being transported into Winnipeg to perform the work of our Canadian members. Mr. Creel committed to making certain that did not happen and would correct anything like that which has already happened," explained Finnson.
Despite the complete breakdown of bargaining tonight, the TCRC negotiating committee advised FMCS and the CP chief negotiator they remain available to negotiate an acceptable agreement.
"We are on strike to overcome the culture of fear initiated by CP management, to achieve a healthy and safe work environment for the working people, and to introduce effective and progressive fatigue countermeasures within our workplace without diminishing the collective agreement." concluded the union leader.
The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
SOURCE Teamsters Canada
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