* Trains begin rolling Friday morning
* CP calling back 2,000 laid off workers
By Susan Taylor
TORONTO, June 1 Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd
trains resumed rolling Friday morning after legislation
ended a nine-day strike at the country's second-biggest
railroad, as the company worked to clear the backlog on its
tracks and in customer facilities.
Some 4,800 locomotive engineers, conductors and traffic
controllers walked off the job May 23, stalling Canadian freight
traffic and costing the economy an estimated C$80 million ($77
million) a day, according to the government.
Calgary-based CP said its Canadian freight operations
restarted at about 0700 ET on Friday.
The company, which two weeks ago concluded a bitter proxy
fight and is now searching for a new chief executive, said it
ships commodities worth C$135 million every day. That means
10,000 shipments daily for 3,000 customers over its 14,800 miles
(24,000 kilometers) of North American track.
Companies have scrambled to find alternatives to ship their
grain, coal, fertilizer, autos and other goods over the past
week as CP trains sat idle.
"As part of the start-up plan, our customer service teams
will be reaching out to our customers to work with them," said
CP spokesman Ed Greenberg.
The company is also recalling the 2,000-plus workers it laid
off during the stoppage.
Its engineering and signal staff ran checks earlier this
week to ensure tracks were ready for traffic, and CP expects
operations to return to normal within 48 hours.
A government back-to-work bill passed late on Thursday
allows Ottawa to appoint an arbitrator who has 90 days to work
with the company and the union to forge a compromise contract,
which will then be imposed.
Talks broke down on CP's plan to cut pension funding by 40
percent, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union said.
CP shares were down 2.6 percent, or C$1.99, at C$74.09 on
the Toronto Stock Exchange, amid broad market declines.