CP Rail deal will give workers 9 percent raise over four years

FILE PHOTO: A CP Rail train rolls across the prairies into the rocky mountains of near Canmore, Alberta, April 28, 2017. Picture taken April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd conductors and locomotive engineers will get a 9 percent salary hike over four years as part of a tentative agreement reached last week with the Teamsters, spokesmen from both the union and CP said on Wednesday.

The agreement, which must first be ratified by members to go into effect this year, would give the 3,000 workers an increase of 2 percent for the first three years and 3 percent during the last year, Teamsters Canada spokesman Chris Monette told Reuters by phone.

The collective agreement replaces the workers’ previous contract which expired at the end of 2017.

CP spokesman Jeremy Berry confirmed the salary hike by email and referenced an earlier company statement that said the deal would provide “long-term stability for all parties involved.”

Canada’s second-largest railroad operator reached the tentative agreement with the union on May 30, ending a strike that threw industries dependent on its transportation services into disarray.

The strike came at a time of tight rail capacity in Canada, with CP and rival Canadian National Railway Co facing strong demand for shipments of grain, potash and other commodities. CP, which employs 12,500, is a leading shipper of grain, crude oil and frac sand in North America.

CP workers had been asking for more predictable schedules to combat crew fatigue in an industry where workers must frequently make themselves available to be on call.

Monette said workers will now “have improved scheduling” because they will be able to book three 48-hour periods off a month, when they will not be on call, up from two such periods right now.

Monette said the union has not yet “finalized the timeline” of a possible ratification vote.

Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis