By Marcia Love
Canadian Pacific Railway’s maintenance crews in Maple Creek and Gull Lake are reportedly being relocated to larger centres.
Maintenance staff at Maple Creek will be moved to Dunmore, Alta., while staff at Gull Lake will be moved to Swift Current.
The move will take place in March.
“CP is reviewing its personnel needs on an ongoing basis as we seek to balance the needs of the infrastructure with the personnel needed to maintain it,” a CP Rail spokesperson stated. “This review is taking place across our network.”
In Canada, this affects about 400 employees, CP Rail reported. All changes fall within the collective bargaining agreements, and meetings are being held with affected employees, the company stated.
CP Rail would not provide any more information or specific details pertaining to how this will impact staff at Maple Creek and Gull Lake or rail maintenance from Swift Current to Dunmore.
The changes are being made amidst threats of a strike by CP Rail employees. Teamsters Canada Rail Conference gave notice on Feb. 10 that it will take strike action after midnight on Saturday unless the union reaches an agreement on a new contract. The union represents about 5,000 employees across Canada.
Earlier this month, Teamsters Rail Conference members voted 93 per cent in favour of strike action.
In January, Unifor union – which represents 1,600 CP safety and maintenance staff – vowed to strike by the same deadline. It is required to give 72 hours notice of a strike.
No further information on the strike was available prior to press time.
CP Rail workers went on strike in 2012, but federal legislation ordered them back to work nine days later.
The company has reported CP Rail managers will be ready to take over if train engineers and conductors strike.