Canadian Rail Strike Continues To Loom

July 09, 2024

 

The threat of a potential rail strike in Canada continues, as a three day walk out on the West Coast is avoided this week by being ruled unlawful.

This week’s planned walk out in British Columbia is a different dispute from the ongoing national threat and was halted when the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) ruled it unlawful.

The three-day strike was planned to commence on 8th July. However, at the eleventh hour, the CIRB instructed the union to rescind the strike notice, saying that the union had failed to bargain in good faith. According to Canadian labour law, a strike cannot start legally until the CIRB has ruled it lawful. 

However, the CIRB have not yet ruled on the ongoing national dispute between the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union, the Canadian Pacific Kansas City union and the Canadian National Railway.

9,000 workers from the two unions voted in favour of a strike on 1st May, before the Canadian government referred the matter to the CIRB on 10th May.

The CIRB have apparently deliberated for some time on this dispute, perhaps due to the severe disruption it will cause logistics in and out of Canada and also some Northern USA states. However, should the CIRB rule in favour of the unions, a strike will almost certainly follow throughout Canada at 72 hours’ notice.

 

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