CP and Unifor reach deal

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by Emily Atkins

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited announced it has reached a tentative collective agreement with Unifor on a new contract for mechanical employees in Canada.

“We thank Unifor for working collaboratively with us throughout this process,” said Keith Creel, CP’s President and CEO.

“CP is proud to have reached another tentative collective agreement with a valued union partner. This tentative agreement is a testament to the hard work, collaboration and commitment of both sides.”

Unifor local 101R represents approximately 1,200 of CP’s mechanical employees who are responsible for maintaining rail cars and locomotives. The previous collective agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2022.

In a media release Unifor said the negotiations encountered several difficult periods. “The Bargaining Committee appreciates the support of the membership, which enabled us to persevere to achieve this tentative agreement,” the release stated.

Going in to the negotiation the union said its bargaining committee raised numerous issues, including the “heavy-handed disciplinary actions from the employer, wages, pensions, benefits, job security, contracting out and working conditions”. The union was also concerned about contracting-out and the need to re-invest CP record profits back into the workforce.

Unifor local 101R president Rick Raso made his intention for the bargaining clear. “We look forward to this round of negotiations with CP. We will seek a contract that will assist our members in tackling inflation, recognize the hard work our members put in every day to goods moving across this county, and address the Company’s unfair and heavy-handed discipline once and for all,” he said as the talks began.

Details of the tentative collective agreement will not be released publicly until the agreement has been ratified.

The union said it is planing ratification meetings over the next few days.

In August 2022, CP and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) – Train and Engine came to a two-year contract deal following binding arbitration.

That agreement includes a 3.5 percent wage increase in 2022 and 2023 and increased benefits. Under the arbitration decision, the TCRC will also join a CP Pension Improvement Account. The new collective agreement runs through 2023. TCRC represents approximately 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers across Canada.