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BLET President blasts CP for unsafe rail practices and threatening employees

CLEVELAND, February 15 — Dennis Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and President of the Teamsters Rail Conference (U.S.), blasted Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) today for its growing culture of threats and intimidation toward its employees in the U.S. and Canada. Pierce commented following CP’s issuance of a letter to the BLET representatives on its U.S. operations, Soo Line and the Delaware & Hudson.

In those notices, CP threatened its U.S.-based locomotive engineers who work into Canada with disciplinary action, even termination, if they refuse to cross picket lines manned by their legally striking Canadian Brothers and Sisters belonging to Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

“TCRC President Doug Finnson and I have been in continuous communication today, and it is clear that CP is incapable of bargaining in good faith with TCRC,” said Pierce. “In a further display of its contempt for Rail Labor, CP is for the first time threatening to force its U.S.-based union-represented engineers to cross Canadian picket lines, even though other options are available. We also are receiving reports that CP is forcing U.S.-based train crews to operate trains with hazardous commodities over Canadian territories they are not familiar with, and to perform other duties of striking TCRC-represented employees. This blatant disregard for the safety of BLET’s membership and the general public must stop,” said Pierce.

Pierce called upon CP’s Board of Directors to rein in the current management team at Canadian Pacific. “The current management team has completely changed the culture at CP into one of constant confrontation with its employees and their unions. CP may be able to hide behind Canadian law as it applies to U.S. citizens by forcing U.S. Teamsters to cross picket lines under threat of losing their jobs, but rest assured that those engineers will never forget what they are being forced to do. Actions like this on CP’s part will only solidify and strengthen the resolve of all rail labor in their dealings with CP,” said Pierce.

“CP subsidiaries Soo Line and Delaware & Hudson have just begun contract negotiations on the U.S. side, and this type of foolish provocation is not helpful,” Pierce continued. “CP is grossly out of touch with the real world if it thinks that attempts to threaten and intimidate Teamsters in the U.S. and in Canada will benefit the railroad in the long run.”

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The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen represents 53,500 professional locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States. The BLET is the founding member of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Sunday, February 15, 2015
bentley@ble-t.org

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