CP Rail workers back demands in strike vote
Published: January 11, 2008
Source: Canadian Press
Workers at CP Rail (TSX: CP) represented by the Canadian Auto Workers
union are threatening to strike if they can't negotiate a new contract
with Canada's second-biggest railway by Jan. 29.
The two sides have been negotiating since last fall but are far apart on
several issues, the union said late Friday. The CAW said the
Calgary-based rail operator is seeking concessions at a time it is
making big profits.
Workers voted 85 per cent in favour of a strike to back contract
demands. The current contract expires at midnight Jan. 29.
The union represents 2,500 workers in 22 locations across the country
who work in the skilled trades, repairing and servicing trains and doing
numerous other shop craft jobs.
"Our members are rallying strong behind the bargaining committee because
they're intent on getting a decent contract," said Tom Murphy, president
of CAW Local 101. "With CP having years of record breaking profits, we
feel it's time for CP to come to the table and give members their just
reward for their years of hard work."
In the third quarter, CP Rail earned a priofit of $219 million, up from
$164 million for the same period last year. Revenues rose three per cent
to $1.2 billion. The railway has benefited greatly from the boom in
trade with Asia, as it carries commodities to West Coast ports.
However, CP Rail is expected to be squeezed by a slowdown in the
Canadian and U.S. economies, which will affect shipments of everything
from auto parts and lumber to coal, minerals and manufactured goods.
In trading Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange, CP Rail shares rose 12
cents to close to $62.33.