Commuter trains to run in event of strike

Officials with Canadian Pacific Railway and the union representing nearly 5,000 of its workers say commuter trains in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto will keep running in the event of a strike.

CALGARY — Officials with Canadian Pacific Railway and the union representing nearly 5,000 of its workers say commuter trains in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto will keep running in the event of a strike.

Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference can legally walk off the job one minute after midnight Wednesday local time if a deal isn’t reached. But now rail passengers on AMT, West Coast Express and GO Transit networks won’t be affected if the deadline passes without a deal.

The two sides met with federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt on Tuesday morning and continued their negotiations throughout the day.

“At the request of the minister of labour, and as a demonstration of goodwill, CP has agreed to allow operation of the three metro commuter services in Canada,” said CP spokesman Ed Greenberg.

“The union continues to threaten to withdraw its members’ services for the remainder of the CP Canadian freight network.”

Teamsters vice-president Douglas Finnson described the meeting with Raitt as “very positive” without elaborating on the topics discussed.

The major points of contention are pensions, some work rules and fatigue management, he added.

“The Minister played a big part in making sure commuter train service is not interrupted,” he said later in a statement.

Two inter-city Via Rail routes in Ontario that use CP infrastructure will still be affected if there’s a strike: between Sudbury and White River and the Brockville-to-Ottawa segment of the Toronto-Ottawa route.

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