Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and the union representing 3,000 conductors, engineers and train and yard workers say they have agreed to final and binding arbitration to end a work stoppage. Workers returned to the job at noon local time on March 22.

In a statement issued early on March 22, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference spokesperson Dave Fulton said while arbitration was not the preferred method, TCRC was able to negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of its members, with wages and pensions still stumbling blocks. He noted the decision to agree to final and binding arbitration was not taken lightly.

CP President and CEO Keith Creel said in a statement the railway company is pleased to have reached the agreement to enter into binding arbitration, enabling it “to resume our essential services for our customers and the North American supply chain.” The statement added CP will immediately begin working with customers to resume normal train operations across Canada as soon as possible.

The two sides have been meeting with the help of federal mediators. Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan tweeted his thanks to the two sides, posting “I congratulate the parties for staying at the table and coming to a resolution with the help of federal mediators.” 

In a later statement, O’Regan said the outcome “is further evidence that when employers and unions work together, we get the best results for Canadians and our economy. O’Regan had vowed to remain in Calgary until an agreement was reached.  Industry groups had been pressing Ottawa to introduce back-to-work legislation to end the work stoppage, but O’Regan indicated over the weekend that the government believed the best deal is reached at the bargaining table.

Source: The Star