With both sides blaming each other, a late Saturday night deadline passed with CP workers taking to the picket line.
Representing 3,000 engineers, conductors and other railway workers, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said a lockout was initiated by management. CP Rail issued a statement that said the TCRC withdrew their services and misrepresented the status of the talks.
Both parties are still at the negotiating table.
Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe issued a statement earlier this week saying that rail is too vital of a service for the province’s economy and its people. He is calling on the federal government to force the employees back to work.
“The supply chain is already stressed and experiencing performance issues because of compounding pressures like the pandemic, severe weather disruptions, and labour shortages,” Moe said a few days ago at the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities conference. “Rail service is an integral part of the supply chain, and industries depend on reliable service in this already challenging economy.”
TCRC members voted in favour of strike action on March 4.