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On Thursday, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC)-Train & Engine provided CP with its 72-hour strike notice to be effective 00:01 ET on Sunday, March 20. CP had previously issued notice to the TCRC of its plan to lock out employees at 00:01 ET on March 20, if the union leadership and the company were unable to come to a negotiated settlement or agree to binding arbitration.

The work stoppage began early, with some hours remaining on Saturday night before the deadline. The two sides disagree on the reason: CP said the union withdrew its services without responding to the company’s last offer; the TCRC said CP began the lockout early.

An embargo application for shipments routing to and from CP Canadian locations is in place effective 00:01 Sunday, March 20. This embargo applies to:

  • All shipments originating in Canada that are billed to any Canadian or U.S. destinations
  • All shipments originating in the United States that are billed to any Canadian destinations

CP has issued a notice of force majeure related to the shutdown.

Intermodal terminal gates open during work stoppage

CP has said that intermodal terminal gates will remain open, in so far as practicable and as long as capacity permits.

If at origin, customers will be able to request pickup or ingate containers until terminals have reached their capacity. Private perishable protective service equipment and international reefers are excluded and will not be allowed in the terminals at this time. Once ingated at origin, shipments will not be available for release to customers.

If a container has arrived at its destination terminal, customers will be able to request delivery or pick up containers from the terminal.

CP will not be providing over-the-road train service during the work stoppage.

In response to a letter from CIFFA about the potential work stoppage at CP, Gary Robertson, Assistant Deputy Minister, Compliance, Operations and Program Development – Labour Program at Employment and Social Development, sent the following email message.

“On behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Labour, I am responding to your correspondence about collective bargaining between the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

“Thank you for writing. Please be assured that the Government of Canada recognizes the importance of the Canadian Pacific Railway to Canadians and businesses. Federal mediators have been appointed and are assisting the parties in their negotiations. The Government of Canada cannot comment further at this time.”

If you have any questions, please contact your local Noatum Logistics representative.