Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Division 563

Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Division 563

Union, CP Rail enter binding arbitration

After announcing a strike on Sunday morning, the Teamsters and CP Railway have entered into binding arbitration.

After announcing strike action against Canadian Pacific Railway on Sunday, the Teamsters entered into binding arbitration with the crown corporation on Monday afternoon.

Members of the Teamsters Division 563 were gathered at a railway crossing at Van Horne St. S and King St. in Cranbrook on Monday morning before the two sides entered into arbitration.

Brad Chauncey, the Division 563 president, said there are many reasons why the  Teamsters took strike action after negotiations broke down between the two sides last week.

“This is not about money; it’s about fatigue, safety and quality of life with dignity and respect,” Chauncey said.

According to Chauncey, CP was proposing a number of changes that the Teamster’s couldn’t agree with, such as introducing a 12-hour workday and eliminating the unfit clause, which is designed to assure employees are going in with clear minds necessary to perform their duties.

The government was about to pass back-to-work legislation, however, the move to enter into binding arbitration effectively suspends the strike.

The strike includes 3,300 locomotive engineers and other CP train workers across the country.

Federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch had said that the strike could cost the economy more that $200 million in lost GDP every week.

With files from the Canadian Press