Farmers were pleasantly surprised by the quick end to a strike by about 3,000 CP Rail conductors and locomotive engineers.
The picket lines went up at 8pm on Tuesday and a four year tentative agreement was announced late Wednesday morning.
Contract details are being withheld pending ratification. Members will receive more information shortly, but the deal is getting good reviews from union management.
“We believe this is a fair contract that our members can feel good about ratifying,” says Doug Finnson, president of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC). “I am personally very satisfied with what we have negotiated.”
TCRC executive also thanked the Prime Minister for his public remarks on Tuesday, prior to the start of the strike. Justin Trudeau stated that the government was in no rush to implement back-to-work legislation, and if it did, CP Rail may not like it.
“It’s not necessarily a good thing for us to be forced to intervene in a labour action on the side of employers,” Trudeau said.
Farm organizations are very pleased with the negotiated settlements with CP conductors and engineers, as well as one reached with signal maintainers on Tuesday.
“Having them get a negotiated agreement is much better for service than back-to work legislation,” says Norm Hall, vice president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. “A four year deal means that there is some stability.”
The President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Levi Wood says it’s good news because there is still a lot of grain on the Prairies following rail backlogs over the winter.
“Hopefully, it gives assurance to shippers that they will be getting good service going forward.”
Full service at CP Rail is expected to return to normal on Thursday morning.