Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) today launched a website that presents the facts relating to work, rest and time off for Canadian-based running trades employees.
The site, www.workrestandtimeoff.ca, also outlines CP’s labour relations story, communications CP has had with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Train & Engine (TCRC-T&E) leadership and models CP has presented. It also dispels the many myths and outdated perceptions concerning work and time off for train crews at CP.
“The new site takes all of the information related to work, rest and time off and puts it in one place,” said Peter Edwards, CP’s Vice-President People. “This is an important step as we want all employees to see first-hand the extensive work we have done, and continue to do, on this topic across our North American network. For real change to occur in Canada, collective agreements need to be more progressive and forward-looking to address the needs of today’s employee.”
In the United States, for example, CP has been able to improve the quality of life of its engineers and conductors. The Soo Line and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern, as documented on the new site, are moving to an age where employees can have more predictable work patterns and in the process deliver better, more reliable service to customers. In Canada, CP’s attempts to change how unassigned road service employees are scheduled have stalled because the current collective agreements are antiquated and based in the steam era.
“We had unions in the U.S. vote for these changes even before collective agreements expired, and those employees have benefited as a result,” said Edwards. “In Canada we remain at a standstill with the TCRC-T&E, unable to engage with them in a meaningful way on this important topic. While TCRC leadership states one of the reasons they went on strike in 2015 was ‘fatigue’ we were not able to get them to sit with us and talk about it. With no way to engage with them, we took action and put in mandatory rest for T&E employees. The result: they grieved it 41 times.”
In the resulting arbitral decision dealing with the issue of mandatory time off between trips, Arbitrator John Stout stated, “I acknowledge that fatigue is a matter of safety that affects both the company, the Union’s members and the general public. Addressing fatigue is in the best interests of both parties to this proceeding. The issue should be addressed in collective bargaining either by agreement or in an interest arbitration award. It is not the role of a rights arbitrator to set public policy or rewrite the parties’ collective agreement.”
The current arbitrated agreement with the TCRC-T&E expires December 31, 2017. However, it is CP’s belief that a solution to this issue can and should be found sooner.
CP has a history of working collaboratively with its unions. In addition to modernizing collective agreements in the U.S., CP has successfully negotiated long-term collective agreements with its other six Canadian bargaining units, including Teamsters, which include increased benefits, annual wage increases and restoration of the employee share purchase plan.
“We want employees to come to work rested, have meaningful time with their loved ones and be able to support their families,” said Edwards. “Assigned days off and mandatory rest achieves this.”
CP encourages regulators, government officials, employees and their families to visit the site. CP will, at any time, discuss the facts around work and rest with the Transportation Safety Board, Transport Canada and the TCRC-T&E and is happy to do so in a public forum.
About Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to eight major ports, including Vancouver and Montreal, providing North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit cpr.ca to see the rail advantages of CP.
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