Source: Rex Beatty -
Published: September 26th 2013
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We are writing to update you with respect to significant legal actions
commenced by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference against CP Rail, on behalf of
members of the four General Committees of Adjustment representing Locomotive
Engineers, Conductors, Trainmen and Yardmen at CP Rail.
As you may be aware, at terminals across Canada CP Rail has been utilizing non-bargaining unit employees to perform work of members of the bargaining unit; specifically the Company’s actions in allowing members of management to operate trains. In almost every terminal that this has happened, there have been members laid off and/or otherwise available for a call that should have been made according to calling procedures.
CP Rail’s insidious practice of using management-run trains has been on the rise in 2013, sparking several grievances at the Local and General Chair level.
Given the systemic, national scope of the Company’s use of management-run trains in increasing frequency, we advised our legal counsel to commence a Complaint to the Canada Industrial Relations Board under section 97(1) of the Canada Labour Code. This Complaint was filed on September 5, 2013, and sets out in great detail how the Company’s actions are interfering with the Union’s administration of the relevant Collective Agreements and representation of its members.
Our Complaint argues that this use of management to operate trains and to do your work has been intended to illegally intimidate our members and repudiate the collective bargaining relationship. Our Complaint seeks several forms of relief, including damages and a cease-and-desist order.
In an inflammatory turn of events, immediately upon receipt of our Complaint, the Company has denied access to the Crew Management Application (CMA) to all members and union officers system-wide, thereby significantly interfering with the Union’s efforts to track the incidents of managers performing bargaining unit work. In some cases, it has come to our attention that the Company is not even reporting to the Crew Management Centre that managers are operating trains.
In response to this deliberate, obstructive course of action by CP Rail, we instructed our legal counsel to file an Application for Interim Order, seeking among other things an Interim Order that the Company restore the members and Union’s access to the CMA and restore proper reporting to the Crew Management Centre of the crewing of trains.
The Company’s response to the Interim Order Application is due later this week, and its response to our Complaint is due at the end of the month. Our counsel is prepared to forcefully argue every fact, case and point of evidence in the Union’s favour on behalf of you, the members.
We will continue to fight on your behalf to persuade the Board that these intrusions on our bargaining rights are unacceptable and in breach of the Canada Labour Code. In the meantime, we ask that you please remain vigilant and keep your Local Chairpersons updated with respect to any management-run trains of which you become aware. Our best chance of success is when we all work together as a united front.
General Chair – CPE LE
General Chair – CPE CTY
General Chair – CPW LE
General Chair – CPW CTY