Canadian Pacific track
workers to strike Wednesday
Published: May 13, 2007
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The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC MWED)
announced today that they have been forced to
serve 72 hour strike notice on CPRail.
The TCRC MWED represents approximately 3200
employees who inspect, maintain and build the
track, bridges and structures on CPRail. Their
current collective agreement expired on December
31, 2006. The parties have been bargaining since
The national strike is scheduled to begin at
11:59 pm (23:59) MST on Tuesday May 15, 2007.
William Brehl, President of the TCRC MWED said,
“This is a sad day for the company and for the
country. The Union has done everything that it
reasonably could to avoid a strike, but it takes
both parties to want a negotiated settlement.
Now the company has forced us to go on strike,
which will be devastating to the Canadian
Wages, benefits, seniority, work rules, safety,
quality of life and other issues have polarized
In light of the rash of train accidents and
recent derailments, some involving dangerous
commodities and loss of life, Brehl is worried
for the public safety if CPRail thoughtlessly
continues to try to run trains over track that
has not been properly inspected or maintained.
“Everyday a trained and qualified TCRC MWED
member finds a defect that has the potential for
disaster. We fix or protect these defects to
insure that the right-of- way is safe. All of us
are extremely worried about unskilled,
unqualified and inexperienced personnel out
trying to perform these dangerous and necessary
Part of the requirement necessary for a Track
Inspection Qualification is one year minimum,
working on the track itself. The TCRC MWED has
over 1200 licensed and qualified track
inspectors in their 3200 members at CPRail. The
replacement workers will have around 150, who
will come from the front line supervisor ranks.
The rest of the replacement workers will be
taken from management desk or sedentary jobs,
who have never worked on the track previously.
“ We have always wanted a negotiated settlement.
We have bargained in good faith and expected the
company to do the same. We have been reasonable
and have hit a brick wall. For example, we are
asking for a 4% wage increase for 2007. The
company is standing firm at 3%. The national
average presently for wage increases on
contracts settled in 2007, is at 3.4% and
rising. CPRail is making huge, above average
profits, yet they offer below average wage
increases. And they want us to make massive
concessions in seniority, work rules and our
health and welfare benefits just to receive the
sub standard wage increases that they put on the
table.” states Brehl.
No further talks are scheduled, though the Union
has been very clear that they would be more than
willing to resume productive discussions.
For further information, please contact Bill
Brehl at (519) 819 1530 or Louis Wilson at (613)