CHICAGO About 4,800
Canadian Pacific Railway workers went on strike Wednesday, but
union and company representatives are continuing to
The Teamsters issued 72
hours notice Saturday of its intent to strike, and the
two sides "were unable to reach an agreement despite
last-minute negotiations right to the strike deadline," union
vice president Doug Finnson said in a statement. The union,
which represents engineers, conductors and rail traffic
controllers, has agreed to continue uninterrupted commuter rail
service in the provinces served by Canadian Pacific.
"No current alternatives (to
move freight) are being arranged until an agreement is in place
or binding arbitration with the unionwhich (the railroad)
supportsis agreed upon, allowing the work stoppage to
halt and Canadian operations to resume," a Canadian Pacific
spokesman told AMM.
The company said that among the
issues dividing the two sides are contributions to the pension
plan. Canadian Pacific said it needs to make changes to legacy
pension and post-retirement benefits "to make them
"Every union member knows how
important the outstanding issues are," Finnson said. "We will
not walk away from the negotiating table."
The impact of the strike on
companies awaiting shipments of metals and raw materials is not
"The Canadian Steel Producers
Association is monitoring the situation with its member firms,"
Ron Kane, the associations director for trade and
economics, told AMM. "Rail plays an important role in
steel producers receiving their input raw materials and in
getting their products to customers in a timely manner. Any
disruption in service is therefore a concern to us. We hope
that both sides are able to arrive at a mutually acceptable
agreement that will restore rail freight services."
Calls to iron ore, ferrous scrap
and steel companies were not returned.
Year to date, the railroad has
shipped 18,132 carloads of metal products, 13,371 carloads of
iron and steel scrap, 6,125 carloads of metallic ores and 4,306
carloads of coke.