The restart of Canadian Pacific Railway service has been pushed back to at least Friday after legislation intended to end the strike by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference stalled in the Canadian Senate, according to reports.
The Senate is expected today to hear witnesses before voting on the back-to-work legislation, setting the stage for a potential return to service on Friday, according to The Chronicle Herald. The eight-day strike hasn’t affected CP service in the U.S.
“I’m asking the Teamsters and CP Rail to return to work starting from now in 12 hours,” Labor Minister Lisa Raitt said Wednesday. “As soon as they can get back on the rails, I’m asking them to voluntarily return to work.”
The legislation aimed at ordering the 4,800 union engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers back to work was fast-tracked, but the Senate, unlike the House of Commons, didn’t waive the requirement of 48 hours’ notice before debate could begin, according to Canada.com.
Raitt estimates that the strike costs the broader Canadian government roughly $540 million a week. The disagreement over the trimming of union pensions has crippled the movement of raw materials and goods and hurt container and bulk shipments out of Canadian ports.