White House comments on CP Rail work stoppage

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

The Biden administration is keeping a close eye on the CP Rail work stoppage in Canada and engaging with federal officials about the potential effect on cross-border supply chains.

The White House says it is “closely monitoring” the situation and is keeping tabs on negotiations, as are administration officials, including the U.S. ambassador, and cabinet secretaries.

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with standard White House practice, says all sides are hoping for a timely and fair resolution to the dispute.

Pressure mounting

Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan is under mounting pressure to legislate some 3,000 CP Rail conductors, engineers and train and yard workers back to work.

The railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union blamed each other for causing the work stoppage, which began on the weekend, though the two sides spent Sunday talking with federal mediators.

The House of Commons resumed sitting Monday following a two-week break, so legislation could come immediately if the government so chooses.

But a spokeswoman for O’Regan said on the weekend that the government believes the best deal is reached at the bargaining table. And on Monday, O’Regan expressed a similar sentiment.

“Second day of a work stoppage but CP and Teamsters Rail remain at the table,” he said in a statement from Calgary, where talks were taking place.