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Canadian Pacific, union agree to end work stoppage

(AFP)

Canadian Pacific locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers were to head back to work midday Tuesday after their union and the railway giant agreed to binding arbitration to end a work stoppage.

CP chief executive Keith Creel said in a statement an agreement has been reached with Teamsters Canada “to enter into binding arbitration and end this work stoppage.”

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“This agreement enables us to return to work effective noon Tuesday local time to resume our essential services for our customers and the North American supply chain,” he said.

The 3,000 workers had been locked out since Sunday after months of negotiations over salaries, benefits and pensions had failed.

The labor dispute threatened to hit a supply chain already in distress after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, devastating floods in the west of the country at the end of 2021 and a meteoric rise in fuel prices.

The second-largest country in the world by area, Canada relies heavily on rail to transport commodities such as grain and manufactured products. 

Ottawa and several business groups echoed concerns raised by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce warning on Monday that a shutdown of rail activities would have a “deep and adverse impact for all Canadian businesses.”

Canadian Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan in a statement Tuesday thanked both sides “for staying at the table and putting in the necessary work to come to a resolution.”

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