As negotiations continue with CP Rail, staff have set up a picket line outside of the Kenora station. There are about 80 workers represented by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference involved in the strike in northwestern Ontario, and they’re hoping a negotiated settlement between the union and CP Rail is reached soon.
Spokesman Grant Sherred explains why they're upset with working conditions.
“It’s not about money. We’re compensated well, but the lifestyle is pretty tough. The last five years ... I’ve never seen so many wrongful dismissals and suspensions. Safety is very important in this industry, but if you make a mistake, a little mistake that everyone makes, they’re suspending people with no pay for weeks. It’s bully tactics.”
Teamsters Canada says that they are committed to working with federal mediators, and will remain at the bargaining table during the strike.
“I’ve been here for 34 years, and I’ve never been talked down to the way that I’ve been talked down to by management in the last five years. Everybody is frustrated. Our work force in Kenora alone dropped from 130 workers to 76 workers.”
Picketers are encouraged by a deal with electrical workers last night, along with comments from the prime minister. Justin Trudeau said that he would work with CP Rail, and would not simply legislate the strikers back to work.
Across the country, about 3,400 train operators and signalling workers are involved in this strike. Teamsters voted 98.1 per cent against CP’s final offer Friday. Electrical workers voted 97.2 per cent against CP’s final offer on Friday. Workers also walked off the job in 2012.
For more information:
CPR unions issue strike notice