CALGARY, Feb. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - Today the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members employed as Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Trainmen and Yardmen throughout Canada has provided their National Bargaining Committee with a resounding demonstration of support. The membership have voted 93% in favour of taking strike action in order to obtain a negotiated settlement with Canadian Pacific Railway. The Teamsters Union and CP are within the 21 day cooling off period as provided for within the Canada Labour Code. A strike or lockout is possible as early as February 15.

TCRC President Douglas Finnson is particularly proud of the TCRC membership and the tremendous show of solidarity and support for the bargaining committee. "The bargaining committee is strengthened by the determination of the membership to fight for their rights to maintain a safe working environment, and to obtain acceptable improvements in their working lives."

"CP has adopted a style of labour relations based on confrontation and establishing a culture of fear among the employees, including management", explains TCRC President Finnson. In 2013 CIRB Decision 679 the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) found CP guilty of violating the Canada Labour Code stating the following; " By it's actions, the employer has made it virtually impossible for the labour-relations system to work as it should." In subsequent months CP has been found guilty by the CIRB of multiple charges of unfair labour practices against the Unionized workers at CP. The most recent finding of guilt against CP was January 9, 2015.

"CP has provoked confrontation with their Unionized employees as often as they can, and their style of labour relations has resulted in the most massive contract rejection in the history of the railway industry", explains TCRC President Finnson. The Soo Line is an American subsidiary of CP, where 97 % of the American based Conductors recently rejected a contract proposal from CP negotiators. Unifor who represents the CP Shop Crafts, and other mechanical workers voted 97% in favour of strike action last month, and now the Teamsters members similarly provide their bargaining committee with an unprecedented 93% level of support.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference is scheduled to bargain with CP in Montreal with the Assistance of Mediators from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, February 10 to 14.

The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.

SOURCE Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC)

For further information: Douglas Finnson. President Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, Office: 613 235-1828, Email: dougfinnson@shaw.ca