Canada’s Government is expected to introduce legislation to end the ongoing strike of workers at Canadian Pacific Railways Limited (TSE:CP). The Harper Government is to hold a news conference this afternoon which will detail the plan.
Workers at the company have been on strike since last Wednesday. The conflict is occurring on several fronts of complaint brought by the worker’s unions including pensions, work rules and fatigue management. Workers at the company walked out of their positions early on Wednesday morning and the two sides have been tring to come to some conclusion since.
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The Canadian Federal Government is expected to formally introduce back to work legislation in the coming press conference. That legislation would end the strike and is legitimized by the Government through stories of other industries being adversely affected by the strike. She has estimated that the strike will cost the economy as much as $540 Canadian every week if it allowed to continue.
The inability of some industries to use railroads to transport their goods has raised costs for many to unsustainable levels. That is the apparent driver behind the legislation. If the bill is tabled todaay it means the workers can be ordered back to work as early as later this week.
A similar route was taken to end strikes at Air Canada and Canada post. In both of those situations the Labor Minister, Lisa Raitt, offered similar explanations of damage to the fragile Canadian economy as reasons for the strike.
The union involved in the dispute has asserted that collective bargaining rights in the country are now under a sustained attack as this is the third strike that has been put down by back to work legislation in recent times. The union says the problems in the labor environment are not being dealt with in a proper manner but instead in one that belies an allegiance to the employers over the employees. The spokesman, Doug Finnson, has speculated that companies could suspend collective bargaining while waiting for the Government to step in.
The strike presents a huge challenge for Bill Ackman who recently won a proxy fight at the company that forced the former CEO out and left his hedge fund with a high degree of control in the company.
The interference of the State on behahalf of Canadian Pacific Railways Limited (TSE:CP) means that Ackman’s acumen has not been tested and his directors’ ability to run the company more effectively than their predecessors is still unknown.