Rail strike update: Work stoppage possibility on hold as CIRB reviews implications for essential goods

Karolina Mazur Featured, News, Uncategorized

The Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) has been asked to review the implications for essential commodities of a potential strike among unionized railway workers. A work stoppage could have started as early as May 22, but the CIRB process delays the earliest starting date to July 15 and creates new uncertainties around disruptions to both freight traffic and commuter services. 

A work stoppage can only begin following a decision from the board and 72 hours notice from the union. 

The Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) offered to enter binding arbitration with the union, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), to avoid a strike, but the union declined. CPKC has also suggested that an agreement be reached with the TCRC about which services should be maintained during work stoppage.

“We believe this would eliminate the need for the CIRB referral process and bring much needed clarity regarding the timing of any potential strike or lockout,” the railway said. “If no maintenance of services agreement is reached, based on precedent, it is unlikely the parties will be in a position to initiate a legal strike or lockout within the next 60 days.”

The CPKC and TCRC will resume meeting on May 17, 2024, in an attempt to move negotiations forward. At issue is the proposal of the railways (CPKC and Canada National) to shift train crews from the traditional mileage-based pay to hourly pay.

Please contact us at sales@canangroup.ca to explore how we can minimize disruption to your operations through the uncertainty of these negotiations.