(Reuters) — Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP) (CP.TO) and union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) have agreed to a binding arbitration over a labor dispute, allowing for operations to resume today (March 22) at the country's second-largest railroad.
The company halted operations and locked its workers out early on Sunday, sparking calls for a quick negotiated end to the work stoppage over fears that it could aggravate a shortage of commodities caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Canadian Pacific said today it would immediately begin work to resume normal train operations across the country.
"While arbitration is not the preferred method, we were able to negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of our members," union spokesperson Dave Fulton said in a statement.
Normal operations will continue at CP during the arbitration period, Minister of Labour Seamus O'Regan Jr, who mediated the talks, said in a statement.
CP had notified the union last week that it would lock out employees on Sunday, barring a breakthrough in talks on a deal covering pensions, pay and benefits.
It said the key bargaining issue is the union's request for higher pension caps.
The union reiterated today that demands on wages and pensions still remain stumbling blocks.
The CP strike is the latest blow to Canada's battered supply chain, which last year weathered floods in British Columbia that suspended access to the country's biggest port.
However, there have been 12 stoppages due to poor weather, blockades or labour issues, according to the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association.