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Rail Labour Negotiations Update

Rail Labour Negotiations Update - Universal Logistics Trade Alerts - June 6, 2024

Toronto, June 6, 2024

The Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), appointed by the federal government to assess whether a potential rail strike could pose health/safety implications, has extended the deadline for all parties to reply to submissions filed earlier on the issue.  The previous deadline of May 31 has been extended to June 14, and the CIRB has asked that specific themes identified in the submissions filed by stakeholders be addressed in the replies. At the centre of this review is the request by the Minister of Labour for clarity on the continuation of activities during a potential work stoppage.

To review, submissions had been filed by Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC), Canadian National (CN), the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), and other interested stakeholders.  Once the replies to these submissions are received and reviewed, the CIRB will in turn render its final decision.  A work stoppage cannot occur until the CIRB issues its decision.  While the CIRB does not have a set timeline, it is believed a work stoppage is unlikely before the mid to late July timeframe.

At the same time, CN announced that earlier this week, it had formally offered the TCRC to enter into binding arbitration.  Binding arbitration would mean that the union and CN agree that a mutually agreed upon independent arbitrator will resolve the terms of the new collective agreement.  In response to this offer, the TCRC declined CN’s proposal for binding arbitration.

For more information, please call David Lychek, Director – Ocean & Air Services at (905) 882-4880, ext. 1207.

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