Teamsters Vote To Reauthorize Strikes At CN And CPKC

Laval, QC, June 29, 2024 - The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) today announced that close to 10,000 workers at CN and CPKC have voted to reauthorize strikes at both companies, if negotiated settlements cannot be reached.

Subsequent Strike Vote

June 11, 2024 – The following is a quick update on National negotiations, and next steps required to protect the overwhelming strike mandate provided by the membership on May 1st.

CN and CPKC Reject Offer to Stagger Negotiations

Ottawa, June 7, 2024 – Canadian National (CN) and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) rejected a proposal from the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) to stagger negotiations with both companies by two weeks. The move would avoid simultaneous work stoppages at CN and CPKC, significantly reducing the economic impacts from any disruptions to the supply chain from a strike or lock out.

Negotiations - Bulletin #10

May 22nd 2024 - As you are probably aware, Federal Labour Minister Seamus O'Regan has requested that the Canadian Industrial Relations Board assess whether the strike could pose safety implications. He stated that the request was prompted by concerns from industry groups. The board is set to examine what, if any, critical shipments must continue in the event of a strike or lockout. The Union and Company submissions were submitted on May 21 and rebuttals must be submitted by May 31. It is unclear exactly how long the review could last, which means that the earliest a strike/lockout can commence is at least 72 hours after the CIRB has made their decision.

All TCRC Members

May 11th 2024 - This is an update regarding Federal Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan, exercising his rights under the Canada Labour Code and the impact of such actions on our current collective agreement negotiations. 

NDP Calls On The Government To Support Rail Workers

May 3rd 2024 - The rail workers have raised serious concerns that must be addressed. It’s troubling that Canada’s two largest railways seem to be collaborating to undermine longstanding collective agreements. The safety of workers, communities and the environment are at stake in these negotiations.

Message from Seamus O'Regan

May 3rd 2024 - A message from Seamus O'Regan to unions and employers on a possible work stoppage at CN and CPKC Rail.

All TCRC Members

May 2nd 2024 - As an update on next steps, we have previously outlined the timeline involved in the Canada Labour Code regarding the collective bargaining process. On April 30th the conciliation phase concluded and was not extended. This means the parties have begun the 21 day “cooling off” period, however in reality that is not an accurate description of what will be transpiring. 

Negotiations - Bulletin #9

May 1st 2024 - After negotiating in Toronto this week, we were unsuccessful in achieving an agreement during the conciliation process with FMCS. The Company declined to continue the conciliation process, so this ends the conciliation portion of bargaining based on the code. We will continue to participate in a mediation process with the assistance of the Federal Mediators. The next planned dates for negotiations are Friday May 17 and continuing wherein the Union will be working towards a negotiated settlement based on the memberships’ proposals.

Strike Vote Results

May 1, 2024 - The strike vote at CN and CPKC concluded today at noon and the results are :Overall % of return for the 3 bargaining units : 98%

Negotiations - Bulletin #8

April 24th 2024 - As communicated in the previous bulletin, electronic strike ballots were sent out with voting ending on May 1, 2024 at 1200 EDT. We urge everyone eligible to cast their vote, if not done already, to send a clear and strong message to the Company of the membership’s support.

No doubt you have been reading the information distributed by CP regarding collective bargaining which they have sent to customers as well. Simply put the company is not doing everything it can to avoid a work stoppage and once again have chosen to blame the TCRC leadership. CP has publicly stated they are bargaining in good faith, but it is clear with the multiple unfair labour practice complaints filed with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board by the Union, that they are not.

Negotiations - Bulletin #7

As communicated in the previous bulletin, conciliators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service were appointed to assist the parties in the context of our negotiations with CPKC. Meetings took place in their presence on March 27th and 28th.

We have made very little progress on negotiations. CPKC continues to advance their Options #1 and #2, while your negotiating committee has provided comprehensive demands for significant wage increases as well as improved work-life balance provisions.

Tie-ups Enroute (55555)

I am in agreement with the Union that the Company’s Bulletin would run afoul of the KVP Test as it has the potential to be interpreted by the Company in a manner which is inconsistent with the Agreement: The Union’s concern that the Company would consider an employee to be on “two straight-away trips” and so the “on duty” clock was “reset” is not an unreasonable one.

Negotiations - Bulletin #6

As everyone is aware, CPKC served Notice of Dispute and the Minister of Labour has appointed Conciliation Officers from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.

Another TCRC Win Against CPKC

Please see the attached CIRB decision concerning CPKC’s appeal on calculation of wages for Paid Personal Leave under the Canada Labour Code.

Appeal of the 20 Demerits assessed to Conductor Gaymer

In view of the uncontradicted evidence of the Grievor regarding the unstable footing that existed on his train as the switch was approached, I am satisfied the Company has not met its burden of proof to establish the application of the Bulletin was reasonable in this case and provided cause to discipline the Grievor for failure to comply with the Bulletin.

No cause for discipline having been established, the 20 demerits assessed to the Grievor are vacated.

Appeal of the 30 demerits and subsequent dismissal of Gaymer

In making this decision, I have had regard to the very long service of this Grievor and have considered his discipline record – and the jurisprudence – very carefully. In view of the very long service of the Grievor; the relatively minor nature of this incident in comparison to others in this industry as recognized in CROA 4098; the jurisprudence; and also understanding that the Grievor had already been placed at Step 3 on his reinstatement, I am satisfied that 30 demerits was excessive and unwarranted for this incident. I am prepared to exercise my discretion to set aside that discipline and to substitute reinstatement, however given that the Grievor had been reinstated at Step 3 and his record was therefore precarious, I do so with time served as a suspension (so a reinstatement without compensation and benefits).

Letter #2 - All TCRC Members

March 1st 2024 - This update is further to the membership letter sent February 19th, 2024 on behalf of the 3 Bargaining Committees currently in active negotiations (Running Trade members at CPKC and CN, Rail Traffic Controllers at CPKC). In that update we reported the state of negotiations and that we were awaiting the appointment of Conciliation Officers due to the concerted efforts of both carriers.

Negotiations - Bulletin #5

Your TCRC Negotiating Committee was informed earlier today of CPKC’s intention to send a mailout to all members containing a letter regarding the status of negotiations as well as two contract options that were presented to the Union. Some of our members may have already received this mailout.

CPKC and CN served Notice of Dispute

February 19, 2024 - As you are likely aware the TCRC is in an unprecedented position of having 3 major Collective Agreements expire on December 31st, 2023 (Running Trade members at CPKC and CN, Rail Traffic Controllers at CPKC). All three bargaining committees commenced negotiation talks in the fall and have continued to make every good faith effort to attain agreement(s) that the membership would ratify. Unfortunately, it has become very clear that the carriers do not have that same objective.

5th Anniversary of the Field Hill Derailment

Today marks the solemn occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Field Hill derailment, a tragic incident that claimed the lives of three dedicated members of our Teamsters Canada Rail Conference family: Dylan Paradis, Andrew Dockrell, and Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer.

Negotiations - Bulletin #4

Your TCRC Negotiating Committee met with CPKC over this past week in Western Canada. The Union continued to discuss and clarify our demands including discussions on the KLR (east) and the KVR (west) Collective Agreements.

Negotiations - Bulletin #3

December 21, 2023 - Your TCRC Negotiating Committee were scheduled to meet with CPKC over three days (December 18, 19, 20) in Eastern Canada. The Company continued with their demands, which includes removal of many long standing Collective Agreement provisions.

Negotiations - Bulletin #2

November 24, 2023 - On November 21 to 23, 2023, along with TCRC President Paul Boucher and TCRC Vice President Ryan Finnson, the Bargaining Committee met with the Company representatives to continue our negotiations in an effort to reach a settlement. We spent most of our time explaining our demands and further reviewing the Company’s demands. The Company had various questions regarding our demands, which we clarified in detail. We had several questions regarding their demands, to which they provided some answers.

Negotiations - Bulletin #1

As you are all aware, the open period of our contract is upon us. Accordingly, on September 1, 2023, we informed the Company of our intent to negotiate and improve the Collective Agreement. On September 19, 2023, along with TCRC President Paul Boucher and TCRC Vice President Ryan Finnson, the Bargaining Committee met with the Company representatives to exchange our proposals and demands. Copies of both the Union proposals and Company demands are attached for your information and review. The documents will be translated and forwarded as soon as possible.

Lac-Mégantic - This is not an accident

Lac-Mégantic investigates one of the worst oil train tragedies in history: a foreseeable catastrophe ignited by corporate and political negligence.

CP Guilty of Contempt of Court in Sweeping Decision

Laval, QC, June 7, 2023 – A federal judge has found Canadian Pacific to be in contempt of court after the company forced train crews to work excessively long hours in violation of a court order to abide by the collective agreement and Transport Canada regulations.

The judge found “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the rail company “intentionally” overworked train crews in 22 incidents of the 38 presented. However, the judge also noted that “CP’s own evidence was that thousands of situations continue to occur annually” where train crews are not relieved from work in time.

The use of cameras at the Schreiber GYO

Most important, though, was the specific undertaking given to employees by the Company when the cameras were installed. They are intended only to monitor security. They are not meant to be used to measure employee productivity. In acting as Ms. Bryson did, the Company breached the undertaking it made when the video cameras were introduced. It undertook they would be used only “to investigate claims of theft or break and enter”. That was the Union’s understanding at the time. That was not the purpose for Ms. Bryson’s viewing. In the circumstances, the Company was not entitled to view the video recording when Ms. Bryson did so, and it cannot rely upon them. Accordingly, as was said in CROA 2707 I find it was not reasonable for the Company to have regard to the video tape evidence.

Letter to Membership Regarding DRPR

The Company’s plan to adjust or add “regulatory rest” to our members in an unannounced fashion, up to 2200 on the second day an employee is in and has not gone to work, is not scheduled and we oppose it. We recognize that adding any rest to an employee in this manner means the Reset Break will be random and unscheduled. This type of unannounced application of rest is not a scheduled break and is not consistent with fatigue management. We maintain, the Reset Break, to have any real value, needs to be scheduled at the Home Terminal.

Appeal of Conductor Dustin Playfair

The Company submitted that the alleged offence placed doubt on his continued employment. In spite of this alleged doubt the Company reinstated the Grievor before the hearing on this matter. In view of all of the foregoing the arbitrator orders that the Company remove the 30 demerits points and resulting dismissal from his record and compensate him for his losses accordingly.

Grievance re R. Mellquist dismissal

Fourth, Mr. Mellquist’s detailed evidence in his Statement satisfied the arbitrator that he was candid with CP about the incident. He acknowledged his behaviour was inappropriate and expressed remorse. Mr. Mellquist is also a long service employee having been hired in 1986. For the above reasons, the arbitrator orders CP to reinstate Mr. Mellquist, without loss of seniority, but without compensation for lost wages and benefits.

R. Mellquist 40-day suspension

In the circumstances, and considering the limited information available from the employee Statement in this case, the arbitrator concludes that Mr. Mellquist merited a 5- day suspension for his actions. The arbitrator agrees with the TCRC that this situation did not justify CP holding Mr. Mellquist out of service under article 39.06 of the CA. 

R. Brydge 30-day suspension

Considering the context of this 2015 case when suspensions were the “norm”, rather than demerits, as well as Mr. Brydge’s proper discipline record, the arbitrator has decided to substitute a 3-day suspension for CP’s original 30-day suspension. This determination applies only to Mr. Brydge’s situation and should not be taken as a precedent for future cases. The disciplinary landscape has changed since 2018 with the reintroduction of demerit points in a hybrid system. 

Local Rules must be in writing & approved by GM & TCRC GC

Due to recent events including wage claim submissions, the Union and the Company have agreed to post this bulletin as a reminder to the employees of the protocols for local agreements.

Dismissal of Conductor Azubike Igbelina

CP remained fully entitled to plead that it still had cause for dismissal, despite Arbitrator Hodges overturning Mr. Igbelina’s 30-day suspension. But its attempt during the hearing to file more ETs into evidence demonstrated Arbitrator Sims’ legitimate concerns. These past ET tests never formed part of Mr. Igbelina’s disciplinary record. He had never had a chance to contest them. They cannot be raised at arbitration to support CP’s case for just cause.

Dismissal of a Locomotive Engineer

The arbitrator has raised procedural concerns about the disclosure in this case. Only full disclosure allows the railway model to hear, in a procedurally fair way, multiple cases in a single day.

CP demonstrated that the grievor tested positive while subject to the RPA. The Record discloses no innocent explanation for that result. However, because CP did not follow the RPA’s process, the arbitrator has decided to reinstate the grievor with appropriate conditions.

Preliminary Objections: Chapleau Weekly Placement Process

For the reasons explained above, the arbitrator dismisses CP’s 3 preliminary objections. The TCRC can bring a single grievance contesting a scenario, like the one which allegedly occurred during the week of February 15, 2021 and request remedies on behalf of any affected employees.

The arbitrator further dismisses CP’s objection contesting the TCRC’s request for a “cease and desist” order. The TCRC has advised CP that its remedial requests go beyond what might otherwise be considered routine. The merits of this case will determine whether the TCRC has any entitlement to that type of remedy.

The arbitrator dismisses CP’s objection arising from the TCRC’s request that any affected employees be made whole. The merits of this case will determine whether CP has any liability. The particulars of any compensation for impacted employees would only occur after a decision on liability.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor Shawn Arnold

In view of all of the foregoing, I find the failure to recognize undue delay negatively impacted the Grievor’s right to a fair and impartial investigation. For the reasons I have set out in this award, the evidence did not establish culpability. The evidence necessary or given to the Investigating Officer against the Grievor was at times unavailable, largely unreliable and in some cases not credible.

The Grievor’s dismissal is therefore void ab initio.

The Grievor will be reinstated without loss of seniority or benefits and with compensation of all wages in accordance with his original RTW Plan. The RTW Plan will be reviewed and updated accordingly within 30 days of this award. 

Appeal of the 30 Day Suspension issued to Conductor Igbelina

I find the investigating officer established that the collision was avoidable had Conductor Anderson fulfilled the obligations. I also note that Conductor Ward indicated in his incident report that he was specifically calling the east end, recognizing that such permission is safer when given by a crew member in the location where the move would occur.

For the foregoing reasons, I also find that CP’s investigation was not fair or impartial as required by the collective agreement. The discipline is to be removed from the Grievor’s record and he will be compensated for loss of earnings.

Buffalo ESR – Order Time for Toronto Return

The arbitrator has considered the parties’ competing interpretations of the CA. For the reasons expressed above, the CA does not contemplate CP’s ESR Toronto-Buffalo employees receiving their “calls” while still on their Toronto-Buffalo tour of duty. The negotiated language fits far more comfortably within the scenario, which appears to have been the status quo for years, of CP calling crews after the expiration of the FRA’s 10- hour rest period.

While this may result in employees receiving “held away pay” under article 8 of the CA, that result alone is not sufficient to discount the parties’ existing negotiated wording. A change to that scenario must come from collective bargaining rather than from a rights arbitrator.

The arbitrator declares that the Bulletin violates the collective agreement. The TCRC has requested various resulting remedies. The arbitrator retains jurisdiction to hear the parties’ arguments in that regard should they be unable to agree on the appropriate remedies.

Grievance Of Conductor Willard Calibaba

Not surprisingly, as CP has proved in the past in an impairment case involving cocaine, severe consequences follow for employees who work in safety sensitive positions when impaired. But in the absence of evidence showing impairment at work, CP had no grounds to discipline Ms. Daniher.

For the above reasons, the arbitrator concludes that CP had no reasonable grounds to test Mr. Calibaba. Consequently, it had no grounds to impose any discipline. The arbitrator grants the TCRC’s remedial request that Mr. Calibaba be reinstated to his position with no loss of seniority and full compensation for all lost wages and benefits. Mr. Calibaba is entitled to interest on these amounts.


In 2020, the Grievor was discharged from her position as a Conductor. The Union grieved the discharge and, on January 24, 2022, this Office issued CROA 4806 & 4807 (the “Award”), ordering the Company to reinstate the Grievor and make her whole in all respects. I retained jurisdiction regarding the implementation of the Award.

In the decisions relied upon by the Company, the grievors took no steps or provided no evidence to show that they applied for other work: CROA 4355S, CROA 4505S. In the circumstances of this case, including the short period of time at issue, I am not persuaded that the Grievor failed to take steps to mitigate her losses between January 1 and January 24, 2022. Accordingly, there is no basis to reduce her compensation for the Relevant Period for failing to mitigate. The Grievor is entitled to be compensated at the agreed-upon comparator rate from January 1, 2022 to August 18, 2022. 

CP and Teamsters Award (FAF 1804)

To the extent, as asserted by the union, that “union members who are required to attend disciplinary investigations have found that their personal health information beyond functional limitations are relied on as Appendixes in such proceedings,” that practice must come to an immediate end. An employee who provides consent on a FAF to disclosure of medical information does so for one purpose only: to provide the necessary information for accommodation. Any other use of the information is completely improper (not including, of course, when necessary to respond to an accommodation grievance or some other legal proceeding or as required by law).

In the aftermath of the award, the FAF disclosure provision should have been revised to comply with the award. The Company is directed to immediately amend the FAF consent provision to eliminate reference to Policy 1804 and to promptly inform that union that it has done so. To the extent that Policy 1804 continues to allow disclosure of medical information beyond functional abilities and restrictions for accommodation purposes (or for use in an accommodation grievance or as required by law) it is of no force and effect.

Grievance re- Personal Health Information

This case concerns an employer revision to the employee consent provision of the FAF. It proceeded to a hearing in Toronto on October 31, 2018. At that time, and with the explicit consent of counsel, an effort was made to resolve the outstanding issues in dispute. It was agreed that the parties would continue those discussions following the hearing, but that if they were unable to resolve the outstanding matters, I would, as was discussed at the hearing, issue a direction. Unfortunately, the parties were unable to reach an agreement. Accordingly, I direct as follows with respect to the consent provision of the FAF: Except as required by law, supervisors and managers are only entitled to information about functional limitations.

Kaplan Arbitration Ruling

August 15, 2022 - Sisters and Brothers: This letter is further to our bulletin of March 22, 2022, with respect to our binding arbitration/mediation process that was conducted beginning August 12, 2022 and ending with today’s award issued by Arbitrator William Kaplan.

Enclosed with this letter is the award issued by the Arbitrator and the agreed-upon items set out in the Memorandum of Settlement dated March 21, 2022.

Companies Exercising Police Powers

Sisters and Brothers,  

Please see the petitions linked below. I ask that you distribute and consider signing both.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor Tyler Beitz

In this case, I find there was no concern for false claims or inability to trust the Grievor during his employment prior to the June 12, 2018 collision. There is no dispute regarding the impact on the Grievor. He did not attempt to hide his absences and no concerns were raised by the Company. Unlike the Grievor in Ad Hoc 700, I can find no reason to believe he cannot return to that trusted status.

In view of all of the forgoing, the Grievor will be reinstated without compensation or loss of seniority.

Appeal of the 20 day suspension assessed to Colin Commodore 

Given all of the foregoing, I find the assessment of a 20-day suspension excessive. The discipline will be reduced to 15 demerits. The Grievor will be compensated accordingly.

The dismissal of Conductor Colin Commodore 

The Company was aware of the mitigating factor of this case as it was held in the back log of grievance until the back log cases were referred to me for arbitration in October of 2021.

In view of all of the foregoing, the grievance is allowed in part. The time from dismissal to October 31, 2021 will serve as suspension without pay. The Grievor will be reinstated effective October 31, 2021 with compensation for lost wages and benefits from that date.

Appeals of Wade Blackwood

The Union had six grievances before the Arbitrator for this Grievor and two were dismissal for accumulation of demerits. The Company requested separate decisions for each grievance. The Grievor was dismissed a second time for a rule violation.

"Based on all the evidence before me, I cannot find that the Company provided a fair and impartial investigation in this case. In my view, the frustration of the Union is understandable given the facts and involvement of Mr. Gough and Mr. Harter in this particular case. However, the particular conceptualization of targeting by the Company in general has not been found as a result of this case."

"In view of all of the foregoing, I find the Grievor’s discipline void ab initio due to the failure to provide a fair investigation and the significant procedural errors set out above. I order CP to reinstate Mr. Blackwood in his employment, with compensation of all wages and benefits lost and without loss of seniority."

Appeal of the dismissal of Trainperson D. Demaray

In these circumstances, there was no basis to discipline the Grievor. His behaviour was not prohibited by any rule and it was not unsafe. It might have been open to the Company to discuss the situation with the Grievor and provide guidance about when to avoid riding on the ladder. However, there was no basis for discipline and this incident should not have led to the Grievor’s discharge.

Given my conclusion that discipline was unwarranted, it is not necessary to address the Union’s allegations that the investigation was unfair and impartial.

The Grievor is reinstated forthwith with full compensation and without loss of seniority.

Appeal on behalf of Engineer Wade Delmage of Moose Jaw, SK. regarding him being assessed with a forty-five-day suspension

I find the Company chose to assess discipline of a 40 day suspension for this incident as a Major Violation. However, it returned the Grievor to work without restrictions after 28 days. In so doing, I find the Company actually chose to address this matter as less than a Major Violation. After the Grievor had been held out of service for 28 days the decision was made to return him to service without any requirement for training or restrictions. I find that decision is understandable given his previous good record. However, the Company failed to properly consider all the same mitigating factors when assessing the original discipline.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor Troy Woodhouse

After consideration of all of the foregoing the grievance is allowed in part. The Grievor Troy Woodhouse will be reinstated in accordance with the following. The period from August 5, 2019 to July 5, 2021 will be counted as time out of service without compensation. Upon return to work at CP Rail, he will be compensated for lost time and benefits for the time from August 5, 2020 to December 3, 2020 when he refused reinstatement.

Appeal of the 40 day suspension to Conductor Korthuis

Based on all of the forgoing I cannot find that the Grievor received a fair and impartial hearing. The evidence produced did not justify the discipline. I find the discipline imposed is null and void. The Grievor be made whole for lost wages and benefits.

Appeal of the 30 day suspension to Conductor Korthuis

In view of all of the foregoing I find the discipline assessed is excessive. It will be reduced to a five day suspension and the Grievor will be compensated accordingly.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor Korthuis

In view of all of the foregoing dismissal will be replaced with time served as suspension without pay. The Grievor will be reinstated without compensation for lost time or benefits within 60 days of this award.

Final & Binding Arbitration 

In consideration of the hard positions of the parties at bargaining and the near certainty that our dispute would eventually end in a final and binding arbitration as ordered by the government. For this reason, our bargaining committee made the decision it would be in all of our best interests to take control of the situation and work out an agreement that gives us power over the terms, conditions and eventual arbitrator.

CP Rail Has Initiate a Lockout

Despite our best-efforts CP Rail has chosen to initiate a lockout tonight 0001 EDT Sunday March 20, 2022, rather than bargain in good faith, the Union simultaneously with the lockout are also on strike. During this past nine days (Friday March 11th onward) the Union has been in position and remained available and ready to negotiate the issues put forward. Unfortunately, the company has done little to try and secure a deal. It is clear the company by its’ forecasting and planned lockout is depending on the inevitable back to work legislation, as their process of bargaining.

Update on Canadian Pacific bargaining

“First and foremost, let us mention that this lockout denotes Canadian Pacific’s irresponsibility in terms of labour relations, as demonstrated by its poor behaviour at the bargaining table. The lockout also demonstrates CP’s irresponsibility with regards to the continuity of the overall Canadian supply chain,” says Dave Fulton, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) spokesperson at the bargaining table. After a never-ending pandemic, exploding commodity prices and the war in Ukraine, this lockout adds an unnecessary layer of insecurity for many Canadians,”  

Saskatchewan Premier Scorns Rail Workers

“I want to remind everyone that only last month, Scott Moe chose to support a minority of professional truck drivers who used our roads and bridges to illegally block trade routes with our largest partner, the United States,” said TCRC President Lyndon Isaak. “These blockades completely shut down border crossings and prevented workers and members of the Canadian public, who were complying with the mandatory vaccine mandate, from crossing the Canada/U.S. border,”

Our Position & The Facts - Bulletin #10

No doubt you have been reading the information distributed by CP regarding collective bargaining and given the numerous requests we feel it’s necessary to respond. As we continue to bargain in good faith, we are extremely disappointed to see the misleading statements released by CP, and the inaccurate picture being painted. As your TCRC leadership, we’d like to update you on our position and share the facts with you. We have consulted with both actuarial and legal support during this process and offer these comments.

TCRC Members at CP vote in Favour of a Strike Mandate

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference will continue to participate in the mediation process with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), and the next meetings are planned to take place between March 11 and March 16, 2022.

Negotiations Bulletin # 9 - Strike Mandate

Please be advised that the electronic voting has now closed in our request for a strike mandate and the ballots have been tallied by Simply Voting. Your negotiating committee thanks every member who voted in this matter and for the tremendous response and support from the ballots sent out this past month. There were 3062 ballots sent out to the membership. Simply Voting has provided the following today February 28, 2022, with 96.7% voting in favour of strike action if necessary.

Negotiations Bulletin # 8 - Extending the Voting Period

The electronic strike ballots were sent out beginning February 1st, 2022; and there have been numerous requests for replacement ballots due to various reasons including undelivered ballots. We encourage everyone to update their address with the Union. Currently, the balloting was to end on February 21st at 1200 Eastern Standard Time (EST). Given the vast number of requests, we are extending the voting period by one week to end on Monday, February 28th, 2022; at 1800 EST. This will ensure those who are eligible to vote are given a reasonable opportunity to participate.

Your Strike Ballot

The balloting opened on February 11th and the process will end on February 21st, 2022, EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). If you have not received your ballot or if you require a replacement ballot please contact the National Office at info@teamstersrail.ca or by phone at 613-235-1828 for instructions on how to obtain a replacement immediately. 

Negotiations Bulletin #7

Members should be starting to receive their ballot in the mail as they were sent out via Canada Post on February 01, 2022. We urge all to cast their vote in an act of solidarity in the interest of protecting your working conditions, benefits and wages. It is extremely important to send the Company a clear message that the Membership supports the TCRC Bargaining Committee and the proposals that have been put forward on behalf of the Membership.

Strike Vote at Canadian Pacific Railway

Montreal, February 10, 2022 - The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) has served a Notice of Dispute to the Minister of Labour under the Canada Labour Code in accordance with the Canada Labour Code regarding its dispute with CP Rail. The main issues at hand include wages, benefits and pensions.

Strike Ballots - Negotiations Bulletin #6

With respect to Bulletin #5, this is to advise that we commenced distributing strike ballots to the membership on February 01, 2022, via Canada Post. The membership should begin receiving this information immediately. Detailed instructions as to voting timelines and directions on the electronic ballot process being conducted by “Simply Voting” will be contained within this correspondence.  

Appeal of the demerits/dismissal of Conductor Lesley Hanna

The Employer argued that the discipline imposed on the Grievor was reasonable and in keeping with its Hybrid Discipline and Accountability Guidelines. The Union objected to the Guidelines because they were introduced unilaterally by the Employer and are the subject of outstanding Union grievances. These issues are beyond the scope of my jurisdiction. Having assessed the discipline based on existing CROA jurisprudence and principles, I am satisfied that the discipline imposed was excessive and must either be rescinded or reduced, as described above. The grievances are allowed, in part.

The Grievor’s disciplinary record should reflect a total of 25 demerits points for the incidents reviewed in this award. This would have brought her active discipline record to 45 demerit points at the time of her termination, which is below the threshold for termination under the Brown system. Therefore, the termination is set aside and the Grievor is to be reinstated and made whole in all respects.

Negotiations Bulletin #5

As you are also aware we will be conducting a strike vote and you will be seeing your ballot information in the mail soon. The vote will be conducted electronically through Simply Voting.

With respect to the Company’s letter, and response to our Negotiation Bulletin #4, that was forwarded to the Local Chairs as well as being posted in yard offices and on bulletin boards, we have filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). The complaint also includes other violations of the Code taking place during bargaining.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor C. Hoyt

For the reasons set out above, I find that the Company did not discharge its burden of proving that the Grievor was impaired while on duty or subject to duty, or otherwise violated Rule G, the Policy or Procedure, nor that the June 10, 2019 incident was caused, in whole or in part, by his alleged impairment. In the absence of impairment, there is no cause for discipline. In the circumstances, I find that the Grievor’s dismissal due to his drug consumption and test result of June 2019 was not warranted.

I order that the Grievor be reinstated without loss of service and that he be made whole for all compensation and benefits lost. 

Appeal of the company's layoff of Hamilton based employees

Article 5.7 of the ESR Agreement states that, for the purposes of employees’ annual vacation (referred to in Article 5.7 as “AV”), Hamilton will be treated as an independent terminal. Contrary to the Company’s submission, Article 5.7 does not state that Hamilton will be treated as an independent terminal “only” for employees’ annual vacation purposes. Therefore, Article 5.7 is not inconsistent with the finding that Article 5.8 also creates a special regime for the staffing of assignments.

For these reasons, the grievance is allowed. I order that the Grievors be compensated for all lost wages for the layoff period at issue and that they be made whole, notably regarding pension, vacation, benefits, earned days off and vacation, without loss of seniority.

Negotiations Bulletin 4

We continue to ensure your demands are heard regardless of the Company’s position on each particular subject. Unfortunately, given the number of issues outstanding, we will be requesting that the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) provide their assistance in the current process. This is to inform you that we will serve notice of dispute to the Minister of Labour with respect to our current round of collective bargaining with CP Rail.

Appeal of the dismissal of Locomotive Engineer M. Warner

In the circumstances, I find that the Grievor’s dismissal was not warranted. I order that the Grievor be reinstated without loss of service and that he be made whole for all compensation and benefits lost. I remain seized with respect to the implementation of this decision.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor D. Gaymer 

The nature of the grievor’s actions, combined with his heavy discipline record, warrants severe discipline. However, I am satisfied that the mitigating factors in this case justify a substitution of penalty, short of dismissal. Therefore, I direct that the grievor be reinstated in his employment, without compensation or benefits, without loss of seniority, with all time lost to serve as a suspension for a “major offence”, as defined under the Company’s Employee Discipline & Accountability Process. The grievor shall stand at Step 3 of the Company’s Progressive Discipline Steps.

Supplemental – AV & GH 

As noted before we had to go back to Arbitrator Kaplan for a supplementary hearing on AV-GH (March 21, 2021 Award attached) which we have received his decision today. We were further successful in the ongoing years after 2017/2018 for any grievances filed as well as the original award where the company was limiting when those affected could take their 2 days.

"The Company is directed to allow employees to use their remedial vacation days in conjunction with their scheduled vacation, in the summer months and December. Lost prime time should be replaced by prime time, if the affected employee wishes. Any other outcome would not be a real remedy."


This was an Award achieved regarding numerous grievances advanced regarding the Company continuously utilizing foreign railway locomotives in the lead position and that do not comply with Collective Agreement provisions / past jurisprudence as well as Canadian Regulations. Specifically, the issue and grievances in connection with foreign locomotives was directed toward locomotives unequipped with proper fridges, hot plates, and vinyl seats. The Award in itself is self-explanatory, and clearly, Arbitrator Kaplan agreed with the Union position in this matter. Our focus now must be to ensure our Membership immediately notify the Company when we receive a train/assignment with a non-compliant locomotive leading to ensure it is swapped properly and to ensure that subsequent crews do not have to work under substandard conditions.  


This issue revolved around the Company arbitrarily choosing to suspend a number of Conductor Training classes that were already in session in both the East and the West in the fall off 2019 and without any prior notice (10-days) being given to the employees as per the CCBA. To be clear, the Company did not lay these employees off. The involved Conductor Trainees were merely informed that their training was temporarily suspended. All of the employees were subsequently returned to complete their training at the beginning of October, 2019 and approximately 10 days later. The employees that chose to return to service following the 10-day hiatus and completed their training as originally scheduled were addressed in a number of grievances from multiple TCRC Divisions nationwide. Arbitrator Kaplan ruled that the Company is not at liberty to merely suspend a Conductor Training Program at whim and following his review. Each Member involved in this dispute will now receive their compensation as if they were continually employed with the Company for all time held out. This award represents approximately $150,000 to our Members. Should any issues arise in the future regarding our Members training being improperly suspended and/or not receiving requisite 10-day-notice for lay-off; the appropriate Local Chairman should be immediately advised.

2021 TCRC West Bursary Program 

Both General Committees of Adjustment - CP Lines West have established a Bursary Program. A maximum of twenty $500 bursaries will be distributed to assist students who are a spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild of any active Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Member of either Western General Committee.

Cancellation of scheduled vacation days in January 2018 

“The December General Holiday dates extended the vacation to January and the vacation was further extended by the January General Holiday dates. There Is no other interpretation.  Management knew all of this and agreed to this in advance; why else would it otherwise have started calling the cohort on the evening of January 2nd asking them to sign on for duty?”  The Arbitrator agreed with our position and awarded “the remedy for each affected employee is $175 per day lost and each affected employee shall receive an additional day of vacation, or if two days were lost, two additional days of vacation, on a mutually agreed day, or dates, as the case may be.” 

Live lift work just past the international border in Portal

The Company’s initiative to remove containers, that had been flagged by customs, directly off a train just over the border at Portal North, Dakota. The operation of the “Live Lift” results in, on many occasions, the head end of the train going outside the terminal switching limits. In an effort to resolve the issue, Arbitrator Kaplan mediated the issue resulting in the appendix to the award.    As such, the outstanding grievances, and claims held in abeyance, will be paid at 75 miles and on a go forward basis the crews will be 50 miles to perform the “Live Lift”.   

Outpost at Spence

For years there has been a local rule governing the assignments and clarifying the entitlements of payments for crews to work at the Spence outpost. The agreement has been tested on several occasions including the forcing of employees to Spence in CROA 4294.   Regardless, it was a local rule and the Company cancelled it in accordance with the terms of the agreement and the Arbitrator found such. Of significance to the matter is the Arbitrator recognizing and confirming the applicability of the two letters within the CBA regarding Outposts. The affected employees will receive all compensation associated with deadheading and those letters. 

Appeal of the dismissal of Marc Lebeuf

It is my view that the termination penalty imposed on the grievor, an 11-year employee, for the GOI breaches for this incident, is excessive. The grievor’s termination shall be substituted with a 30-day suspension. He shall be reinstated to his former position and otherwise made whole.

Appeal of the dismissal of Locomotive Engineer Mark Smith

The grievance is upheld. The grievor shall be reinstated to service without loss of seniority and shall otherwise be made whole. I shall retain jurisdiction should any issues arise in the implementation of this award.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor T. Jeglum

The arbitrator further agrees in these circumstances with the comments of the Arbitrator in CROA 4418 “…that the imposition of a serious sanction, short of termination, will have the desired rehabilitative impact on this grievor”. Accordingly, after considering all the facts, the Arbitrator directs that the Company reinstate the grievor forthwith without loss of seniority, but without compensation for any wages or benefits lost.

Kaplan Supplemental to Award 1B Initial Terminal

On October 16, 2020, a number of matters proceeded to a hearing and awards were issued on October 19, 2020. An interpretation dispute subsequently arose in respect of one of the awards, and the parties asked that it be determined by written submissions.

In brief, one of the particular matters that first went to hearing was whether the Company can require a Conductor Only freight crew to make a set off from their train prior to departing from the initial terminal. The answer to that question, as set out in the award, was yes, but subject to the Letter re: Conductor Only Final Terminal dated August 31, 1992.  

Kaplan Awards Final Terminal

In brief, all four grievances submitted to arbitration allege a violation of Conductor Only Provisions at the Final Terminal. Both parties filled detailed written briefs and reply briefs. The cases proceeded to a hearing by Zoom on November 11, 2020.

Conductor Only Initial Terminal Disputes

Sisters and Brothers, This is in regard to the second to final remaining dispute (Conductor Only Initial Terminal Violations) from our last bargaining sessions with CP and agreed by the parties to be heard by Arbitrator William Kaplan in the closed period. We have one last issue to be heard by Mr. Kaplan on November 11, 2020, that being Final Terminal Switching Violations. These proceedings have been delayed significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and are being heard electronically as opposed to in-person hearings due to our inability to meet face to face.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor D. MacDonald

“The arbitrator heard the grievance on the merits on October 10, 2019. In his decision dated October 23, 2019, the arbitrator determined that residual traces of marijuana in the grievor’s urine as a result of recreational off-duty marijuana use did not “establish impairment”, did not violate the Drug Policy, and did not establish just cause to terminate his employment. The arbitrator ordered CP to reinstate the grievor as an employee “

Judicial Review Decision:

“The arbitrator’s analysis, based on the facts before him, shows a line of analysis leading from the evidence to the conclusion. His reliance on arbitral case law was reasonable. The Union relies on eight CROA decisions, from 2008 to 2019, which all state that a failed urinalysis test is not by itself sufficient proof of impairment. Oral fluid testing, on the other hand, can reliably show impairment. In basing his decision on the CROA case law, on the facts found by the arbitrator, the arbitrator’s analysis was reasonable.”

Brother Bill Pitts Retires!

His union involvement began at the division level where he took on the role of Vice Local Chairman, he went on to become the CTY Local Chairman and Vice General Chairman CTY West. His extensive union resume also includes Recording Secretary for the National Office, the CTY West Locomotive Cab Committee and the CTY West Bunkhouse Committee. His hard work for the union is both recognized and greatly appreciated! His leadership and friendship will be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to have worked with him.  


Both General Committees of Adjustment – CP Lines West have established a bursary program. 

Additional Member Benefits at No Cost!

Through a partnership with American Income Life Insurance Company, additional benefits are being provided to all members of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - CP.

Appeal of the 45-day suspension and subsequent Dismissal of Conductor Todd Lavigne of Coquitlam, BC.

Under the circumstances, I find that the appropriate discipline for this incident should be a further period of suspension. The dismissal penalty shall be removed from the grievor’s record and substituted with a suspension of 45 days. The grievor shall be reinstated into his employment and made whole without loss of seniority. The Suspension grievance succeeds. The 30-day suspension is set aside. The Dismissal grievance also succeeds to the extent that a 45-day suspension is substituted for the grievor’s dismissal.

ALetter from CP EVP Regarding Canada’s COVID-19 self-isolation

CP interpreted this exemption to apply to workers critical to the operation of the railway, not just to those crew members who cross the Canada-U.S. border as part of their duties. We were supported in this position in discussions with government officials. We see, however, that Brigitte Diogo of Transport Canada has since advised you that the exemption should not apply to a worker returning from a vacation or a personal trip to the U.S. Thank you for sharing that communication with us.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor A. Blossom

In general, the Grievor's record of thirty-three years of service reflects long periods of service without discipline. The majority of discipline assessments is generally for operational infractions and the twenty and thirty days of suspension are now pending before the arbitrator. The termination of the Grievor’s employment was excessive and unwarranted.

Violation of the Golden Zone Agreement

Accordingly, the appropriate resolution of this matter is to direct that:
a) the parties be given a period of 60 days from the date hereof to negotiate the appropriate changes to the Golden Zone Agreement - pursuant to Article 35 (1) - taking into consideration the WPP; the provisions of Article 25.05 and the parties’ past practice.
b) failing agreement thereon, the matter is to be returned to me for determination; 

Company Failed to provide Accommodation to Conductor M. Straka

I agree with counsel for the Union that it was not sufficient for the Company to determine whether there were vacant positions into which the grievor could be placed. The duty of accommodation goes further, requiring the employer to consider whether various job functions can be bundled together to create a sufficiently productive accommodated position. Additionally, the obligation of scrutiny on the part of the employer, and for that matter on the part of the Union, extends beyond the bargaining unit and can encompass managerial responsibilities or work in relation to another bargaining unit, subject only to the limitation of undue hardship.

Teamsters Call for Independent Police Investigation into Field Derailment

Montréal, January 27, 2020 – Following allegations of a cover-up by the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS) in relation to the Field derailment, the Teamsters are calling for an independent RCMP investigation into the deadly rail disaster. The union is also reiterating its call for the federal government to abolish corporate police forces. 

Best Wishes for a Happy and Safe Holiday

The TCRC Executive would like to wish our members and their families our very best wishes for a happy and safe holiday.

Brother Kirk McLean GoFundMe

As everyone is aware brother Kirk Mclean tragically passed away on December 2nd while on duty. TCRC Division 320 has setup a GoFundMe to collect funds for Mrs. McLean and the McLean family to help ease their financial burden during this extremely difficult time.

Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor N. Eisner

Having traces of marijuana in the body may raise a question of whether there is impairment, but that bit of evidence by itself is not enough to establish impairment, whereas the negative breath alcohol and oral fluid tests strongly indicate that there was not. There is no suggestion whatever that the grievor’s conduct, movements or verbal behaviour were indicative of impairment.

 Appeal of the dismissal of Conductor S. Velanoff

Having traces of marijuana in the body may raise a question of whether there is impairment, but that bit of evidence by itself is not enough to establish impairment, whereas the negative breath alcohol and oral fluid tests strongly indicate that there was not. There is no suggestion whatever that the grievor’s conduct, movements or verbal behaviour were indicative of impairment.

Employees Entitlement When Held Out or Suspended

This case concerns the entitlement of employees who are held out of service or suspended for greater than thirty days. The parties filed detailed briefs and the matter proceeded to a hearing in Toronto. 

Action Required for Benefits Provider Change

Effective January 1st, 2020, Sun Life will be your new benefits provider for Health, Dental, Life Insurance, and Optional Life benefits. Morneau Shepell will be your new Weekly Indemnity Benefit (WIB) provider. AIG will continue to be the provider for Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D). The benefits will remain the same.

Brother Ryan Campbell

On the morning of September 20, 2019, CP Rail Conductor Trainee Ryan Campbell, age 42, who is currently working out of Brandon, MB, was struck by a train travelling 25 MPH while detraining from a locomotive to perform switching in Estevan, SK.  Ryan has sustained serious injuries and will be unable to work for an extended period of time.  He is currently hospitalized with a broken pelvis, broken hip and broken ribs.  A Go Fund Me was set up to provide support for his family. Please join us in donating what you can.      

Grievance Management Tracking System

The GMS is not a joint union-management program; it is not the property equally of the company and the union, as is the collective agreement. Thus, the company’s letter of April5, 2019 improperly limits the rights of the union and of employees to file grievances and constitutes, I find, a violation of the collective agreement.

Kaplan award - Turned enroute back to the AFHT

The Company introduced evidence of earlier iterations of the language in question, but respectfully those earlier iterations, dating back decades, are not helpful as these provisions have been changed in more than one respect, and they simply do not meet the basic test for relying on bargaining history or otherwise as an aide to interpretation. One is left with the collective agreement language, and it is clear and compelling: the company can, in certain circumstances change the class, of service and if does so, it can return the crew to their Home Terminal or, if turned, pay them the 100 miles. Accordingly, and for the foregoing reasons, the crew is each entitled to compensation for 100 miles.

Buffalo ESR Supplemental Award

I agree with the Union that employees who are required to operate their trains beyond Lambton, in breach of the limits found in the Buffalo/Toronto ESR, must be compensated for the additional work being required by the Company. To require employees to provide such additional work without compensation would be absurd (requiring additional work without additional compensation) and would do nothing to ensure compliance by the Company in the future.

In Memory of Brother Ken Sikorski

After a long battle with cancer, Ken found peace surrounded by his loved ones on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at the age of 59 years. Ken worked for CP from 1987 to 2016 and couldn't wait to retire.