VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A rail strike has been avoided, for now, after the federal labour minister ordered employees of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited to vote on the company’s final offers, just hours before they were set to walk off the job.
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.”
Earlier, TransLink said it had developed a back up plan, just in case there was strike action.
The two share the tracks between Downtown Vancouver and Mission.
TransLink’s Chris Bryan confirmed CP had offered assurances commuter rail across the country will not be affected by any strike action. “We’re hopeful and fairly confident that that will be the case. But we, of course, want to make sure we’re fully prepared in case service is disrupted.”
But he adds it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“The backup plan… we would provide buses that would connect all the [West Coast Express] stations out in Mission and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area, as well as Port Coquitlam. So, the buses would carry the same capacity of passengers and would connect them with SkyTrain at Coquitlam Central,” he explains.WCE Sched_v2