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March 22, 2022

CP Rail to restart

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference have agreed to a binding arbitration over a labour dispute, allowing for operations to resume from Tuesday at the country’s second-largest railroad.

The company halted operations and locked its workers out early on Sunday, sparking calls for a quick negotiated end to the work stoppage over fears that it could aggravate a shortage of commodities caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Canadian Pacific said on Tuesday it would immediately begin work to resume normal train operations across the country.

“While arbitration is not the preferred method, we were able to negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of our members,” union spokesperson Dave Fulton said in a statement.

Normal operations will continue at CP during the arbitration period, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr, who mediated the talks, said in a statement.

CP had notified the union last week that it would lock out employees on Sunday, barring a breakthrough in talks on a deal covering pensions, pay and benefits. It said the key bargaining issue is the union’s request for higher pension caps.

The union reiterated on Tuesday that demands on wages and pensions still remain stumbling blocks.

The CP strike is the latest blow to Canada’s battered supply chain, which last year weathered floods in British Columbia that suspended access to the country’s biggest port.

The country’s last major railway labour disruption was an eight-day Canadian National Railway Co strike in 2019. However, there have been 12 stoppages due to poor weather, blockades or labour issues, according to the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.

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