It may only be temporary, but a strike by more than 3,300 train crews and signal workers with Canadian Pacific Railway has been averted.
Labour mediators have asked the federal Labour Minister to have union members vote directly on a contract offer in a move which has resulted in both unions recommending a rejection of the offer.
Earlier this week, the Teamsters and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers gave the railway a 72-hour notice of strike action.
CP Rail said in statement that the minister’s order means there will be no disruption in commuter or freight service.
But a statement from the unions say the company’s offers don’t have a “chance in hell of being ratified.”‘
“CP succeeded in delaying the inevitable. The government will bring this ridiculous offer to our members and we strongly recommend that members vote against it,” Teamsters Canada railway president Doug Finnson said.
The postponement comes just hours before a strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. CP officials had told customers earlier this week the railway had begun a systematic shutdown of its Canadian rail network ahead of the pending strike.
Many groups including the Grain Growers of Canada and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe had been calling on Ottawa to prevent a work stoppage saying it will cause economic harm to businesses relying on railways to move their goods and raw materials.