Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CP urges Teamsters to renew negotiations

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

Canadian Pacific on Tuesday again asked the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference to let striking workers return to their jobs "and stop the damage the union is unnecessarily causing to CP customers' businesses and employment levels."

CP noted that it made the request also on Sunday before the union withdrew from federally mandated discussions.

"Since negotiations began in October 2011, CP has made multiple reasonable and good faith offers to the Teamsters on various items such as pensions, health spending accounts, a 48-hour rest provision and other fatigue management counter measures that add to and complement many existing regulatory and negotiated provisions," said CP VP Human Resources & Industrial Relations Peter Edwards. "These and other work rule proposals offered by the company exceed those that the Teamsters have in place with other North American railways.

"While the Teamsters refused numerous requests from CP and the government for alternatives to achieve a negotiated settlement, CP agreed to each, including options for extension of talks and voluntary arbitration," said Edwards. "The Teamsters pushed their members into an unnecessary work stoppage and have, throughout the negotiations, refused to minimize the impact on other affected CP employees, our customers, and the Canadian economy."

The union carried out its already-authorized strike after CP switched top management on May 18 in the wake of a bitter proxy fight waged by the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management.