CP Rail employees on strike to be ordered back to work

The federal government will introduce legislation to end a strike by more than 3,000 Canadian Pacific Railway employees under the Teamsters union.

Montreal commuter train service on Vaudreuil-Hudson, St-Jérôme and Candiac lines on hold during strike

Agence métropolitaine de transport is using buses to help replace the passenger train service 2:09

The federal government will introduce legislation to end a strike by more than 3,000 Canadian Pacific Railway employees under the Teamsters union.

CP Rail workers on strike may be forced back to work on Monday when the federal government tables back-to-work legislation. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

A government source told The Canadian Press the legislation will be tabled Monday morning. A notice to allow for introduction of the bill was placed on the Commons order paper late Friday afternoon.

The strike against CP Rail began after contract talks failed to reach an agreement before the midnight deadline.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union represents 3,300 locomotive engineers and other train workers at CP Rail.

In a statement issued Sunday morning, the company said it would deploy management personnel to operate a reduced freight service on its Canadian network.

Montreal commuter train service affected

Several thousand people living in the greater Montreal region will be affected by the CP Rail strike on Monday morning.

Three commuter train lines serving Montreal and its environs operate on CP-owned track and are driven by more than 100 CP engineers. Those are the Vaudreuil-Hudson, St-Jérôme and Candiac lines. 

CN Rail engineers drive the trains running on the other AMT lines.

The Agence métropolitaine de transport (the commuter train transit authority known as the AMT) was denied an injunction on Friday to keep its commuter trains running
AMT commuter train service will be cancelled on Monday on three Montreal lines due to the CP Rail employee strike. The transit authority plans to replace the Vaudreuil-Hudson, St-Jérôme and Candiac lines with buses, but said it would need 700 buses to provide the same level of service. (CBC)

"I find the current situation unacceptable …19,000 clients are being held hostage over a work conflict between CP and the Teamsters. I believe there could have been a better way to settle, to offer at least rush-hour service in the morning and evening," said AMT president Nicolas Girard.

Girard said that during labour disputes in the past, CP Rail and its unionized employees agreed to provide a basic level of commuter service. This time, CP Rail and its employees made no such agreement regarding commuter train service.

He said earlier on Sunday morning that the AMT will try to get a new injunction passed on Monday.

With back-to-work legislation in the pipeline, that may no longer be necessary.

However, commuter train service will still be cancelled on Monday morning on the Vaudreuil-Hudson, St-Jérôme and Candiac lines, which serve a collective 19,000 daily passengers.

The AMT said it would run 60 buses along those lines to ensure commuters get to work on Monday. However, the transit authority said it would have needed 700 buses to provide the same level of service the commuter trains fulfill.

With files from The Canadian Press


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