CALGARY — Two unions representing about 3,400 workers at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. have formally served the company with 72-hour notice of their intent to strike.
The notice comes at a difficult time for the railway, which is under pressure from shippers to move backed-up grain shipments and supply more locomotives to the pipeline-constrained oil industry in Western Canada.
Both the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing about 3,000 CP Rail engineers and conductors, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, with about 365 signal and communications workers, cite a lack of progress at the bargaining table.
Absent a negotiated settlement, the unions say their workers will walk out at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
'Part of the bargaining process'
The company confirms it has received the strike notices but says it is committed to achieving a "win-win solution." It says it presented the Teamsters with new three- and five-year agreement options on Monday and plans to present the IBEW with three- and five-year options today.
Both unions reached a tentative deal with Canadian National Railway Co. last month for new contracts for about 1,700 CN Teamsters workers and over 700 IBEW members.
Teamsters workers voted 94.2 per cent and IBEW workers voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action against CP Rail earlier this month.
"Serving a strike notice is part of the bargaining process that unions must follow if they want to be able to strike," said Canadian Pacific CEO Keith Creel in a statement.
"We remain committed to achieving a win-win solution and urge the two unions to work closely with us and the federal mediators to achieve a positive outcome as soon as possible in the hours leading up to the deadline."
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