Canadian Pacific Railway workers are back on the job today after a back-to-work legislation received Royal Assent on May 31.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said its members are not happy with the federal government's move to force them back to work, but are advising the 4,800 union members to obey the law and report to work.
The 10-day strike failed to resolve the pension and hours of work issues with which CP rail workers were concerned. The union said CP's desire to increase shift times from 10 to 12 hours is not sound fatigue management, but it is the company's wish to cap pensions at $60,000 (a 40-per-cent cut, the union said) that is most upsetting to members.
"The drastic cut in pensions angered our members," Doug Finnson, TCRC vice-president and chief negotiator, Doug Finnson. "A pension plan is a deferred salary, not just money the company can distribute to its shareholders and managers without being accountable to anyone."
Work rules and fatigue management are also key issues. The Teamsters Union plans to systematically inform the public of all railway incidents associated with fatigue management.
"We're not going to let Canadian Pacific endanger the lives of our members and of people living close to railroad tracks," Robert Bouvier, Teamsters Canada president, said.
Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt will appoint a mediator, who will have 90 days to settle the dispute, unless the two sides can come to an agreement before then.
Scott Graham, strike captain with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Local 308 in Sudbury, was not available for comment today.
Raitt said in Parliament this week that it will take weeks to clear the backlog of freight once trains start running.
Posted by Arron Pickard