NEWS

CP Rail strike not expected to affect West Coast Express

02/15/2015 04:46 EST | Updated 04/17/2015 05:59 EDT
TransLink says a strike by CP Rail workers that began Sunday should not affect West Coast Express commuter rail service to Vancouver.

In an emailed statement Sunday morning, TransLink said it intends to operate its regular schedule and points out the West Coast Express has no unionized employees.

"We will notify customers as soon as we are aware of any impact on our service," it said.

However, several thousand rail commuters in and around Montreal where more than 100 unionized CP engineers are providing service, are expected to be affected. The Montreal commuter rail transit authority known as the AMT was denied an injunction on Friday to keep the trains running.

The federal government is poised to introduce legislation Monday to end the strike by the more than 3,000 locomotive engineers and other train workers at Canadian Pacific Railway.

A government source says the legislation will be tabled Monday morning. A notice to allow for introduction of the bill was placed on the Commons order paper late Friday afternoon.

The strike against CP Rail began after the two sides failed to reach an agreement before the Saturday midnight deadline. The 3,300 workers are represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

In a statement issued Sunday morning, the company said it would deploy management personnel to operate a reduced freight service on its Canadian network, but the company said it didn't know how many trains would be operating.

Teamsters president Douglas Finnson expressed his disappointment in a message on the union's website denouncing "government's clear favouritism towards the corporate position."

The strike is expected to affect both passenger and freight train service across the country.

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