Leaders of the union representing 3,000 conductors, yard workers, and traffic coordinators at the railway will meet on Friday to decide whether to strike or take other action after union members narrowly rejected a second tentative contract deal with Canada’s biggest railway. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said in a statement that it still has a valid strike mandate and added that its leaders will meet with counsel to decide on its next move.
CN Rail said, in a statement after the vote, that it would propose binding arbitration to reach a settlement and requested a union response by the end of Friday.
For it’s part, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has no immediate plans for job action.
“We do still have a valid strike mandate but that’s somewhat limited given the government’s ability to take away our right to strike,” said Chair Roland Hackle to Canadian Press Friday.
Canada’s Supply Chain Issues
Meanwhile the situation at Port Metro Vancouver got even more tense this week as hundreds of striking container truckers rallied in Vancouver at noon Friday, just days before the BC government is set to force unionized drivers back to work with legislation.
The BC government has said it will bring in legislation, that includes at 90-day cooling off period, as early as Monday.
A few hundred unionized workers walked off the job almost two weeks ago, joining about 1,000 non-unionized truckers who refused to go to work late last month.
At its peak, the port strike was estimated to be costing the Canadian economy about $885 million, however the port says container truck traffic is now up to 40 per cent of normal.