May 2, 2024 | Circular No. 11665

Dear Member,

As previously reported, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) is in the process of negotiating new labour contracts for approximately 6,000 running trades workers employed by CN and 3,200 workers employed by CPKC.

Although these are two totally separate negotiating processes, they are proceeding along very similar timelines. More specifically, both railways just concluded a 60-day conciliation period with the union, and both have now begun a mandatory 21-day mediation period with the assistance of federal mediators.  If no collective agreement is reached during the mediation period, the earliest a legal work stoppage by either group could occur is May 22 (assuming the union provides 72 hour advance notice).

As you may also be aware, the union has been conducting a strike vote for both groups  over the last several weeks.  The results of that vote, which were released yesterday, were  overwhelmingly positive in favour of undertaking strike action if and when deemed appropriate by the TCRC (as as per the timeline mentioned above).

It is our understanding that CPKC is scheduled to hold mediated meetings with the TCRC this week, while CN has meetings scheduled for the weeks of May 13 and May 20.

We will revert with additional information on the negotiating process as it becomes available.  In the meantime, any concrete information that members can share on the impacts of a rail strike (in the form of lost revenue, missed business opportunities etc.) would be much appreciated, as this will help inform our representations to the government of this issue, as well as those of other organizations such as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.


Karen Kancens
Vice President