Vancouver | Reuters — Federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch on Wednesday said she was encouraging the parties at Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) to bargain, but declined to speculate on what Ottawa might do if workers went out on strike.
CP said its managers will be ready to take over if the railway’s engineers and conductors in Canada walk off the job on Sunday.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), whose running trades unit represents 3,000-odd CP employees, served CP with formal strike notice Tuesday.
Asked whether Ottawa might legislate striking employees back to work, Leitch told reporters: “I don’t speculate on what’s about to happen… what we’re encouraging the parties to do is to sit down and talk to each other so they come to a deal.”
Peter Edwards, CP’s vice-president for human resources and labour relations, said in a release Tuesday the company is “committed to finding a workable solution with the union and continues to bargain in good faith.”
CP, in its release, also said that “despite the union’s earlier commitment to consider protecting grain shipments and commuter service in Montreal, it appears now that will not be the case.”
— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Gordon, writing by David Ljunggren. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.