(Black Press file photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh).

(Black Press file photo/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh).

Conductors, engineers on picket line as bargaining continues

THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — A spokesman for Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says the union is expecting to be back at the bargaining table with a mediator today after a labour dispute with CP Rail led a work stoppage late Saturday.

More than 3,000 conductors and engineers at CP rail are on the picket line after the company and union failed to reach a deal by a midnight deadline.

Both CP Rail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference say the other side is at fault for the stoppage which is parking trains when supply chain disruptions are already severe.

On Wednesday the company said it would lock out its conductors and engineers if a deal wasn’t reached by midnight, but said in a statement today that the unionized workers walked off the job before they were locked out.

In their own statement the Teamsters say in addition to the lockout their members are also on strike.

The union says wages and pensions are key to the contract talks but so is a dispute over whether a federally mandated break period can be taken on the road or has to be given when employees are at home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2022.