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Archive for the ‘Lisa Raitt’ Category

May 23, 2012           12:44 AM ET

The Canadian Pacific Railway strike means more than 2,000 non-striking unionized CP employees will be laid off, a spokesman for the company said Wednesday, as the federal labour minister said she may force an end to the work stoppage.

“Unfortunately, with this unnecessary strike by the Teamsters, more than 2,000 other unionized CP employees will not be required and are being laid off,” CP’s Ed Greenberg said. “We expect this to grow by another 1,400 employees as their work, related to the operations of the railroad, is no longer required. This is in addition to the 4,800 Teamster-represented employees currently on strike.”

The strike by engineers and other workers began Wednesday morning. The layoffs are a temporary measure, with CP saying the affected workers are not required when the trains aren’t running.

Greenberg said the strike means tens of thousands of carloads a day of grain, coal, automobiles and other products won’t be moving along nearly 24,000 kilometres of track in Canada and the U.S.

Back-to-work legislation

Earlier Wednesday, Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said she was giving notice of legislation to force the union back to work.

Raitt urged both sides to keep negotiating but said she’s being prudent by putting the legislation on the order paper in the House of Commons. The announcement came 10 hours after the workers went on strike.

“We want to make sure that they’re doing the best that they can, but they understand as well that if they cannot conclude their deal, we will have the ability to intervene,” Raitt told reporters in Ottawa.

“We want to make sure that the effect on the economy is being brought to people’s attention and that we’re keeping it in mind as it proceeds.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/charts/pie/cp-revenues/index.html

Raitt says the parties are still at the table but said late Wednesday afternoon that they seem to be far apart on the issue of pensions. She says the government estimates a strike could cost $540 million a week.

Raitt’s statement ‘consistent’ with union attitude

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said in a statement later Wednesday that Raitt didn’t threaten them with back-to-work legislation, and promised to stay at the negotiating table as long as it takes.

“Minister Raitt’s comment is consistent with our attitude since the beginning of the negotiations,” said Doug Finnson, TCRC vice-president.

“The minister wants the parties to continue talking and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The statement said Raitt “seemed inclined to give the parties time to find common ground.”

“CP’s management needs to understand that hiding behind the federal government is not going to resolve things,” Finnson said.

Canadian Pacific’s statement Wednesday evening said it respected Raitt’s announcement and that it is willing to enter binding arbitration.

On Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, Raitt said there are three options for management and the union:

  • They negotiate a deal, which she said seems to be becoming more unlikely.
  • They voluntarily go to arbitration, with an arbitrator of their choosing.
  • Both sides accept an offer Raitt says she made last week to stop the strike and agree to 120 days further mediation with an expert provided by Labour Canada. Canadian Pacific accepted that offer but the Teamsters did not. “It’s still there for them to take, and they should look at it,” she said.

If they don’t do any of those things, “They are leaving their destiny in the hands of Parliament,” Raitt said.

The House of Commons isn’t sitting this week, with MPs working in their ridings, so the legislation isn’t likely to start moving through Parliament until Monday.

Asked whether Canadian Pacific asked for the legislation, Raitt said no.

Last year, the government brought in back-to-work legislation for both Air Canada and Canada Post disputes — in the case of Canada Post, it ended a lockout.

In June 2011, the NDP forced the House to sit continuously for three days as the party fought the Canada Post legislation.

‘The Conservatives are taking only one side’

NDP labour critic Alexandre Boulerice said he’s concerned the threat of back-to-work legislation will skew the balance at the negotiating table in favour of Canadian Pacific.

“Once again the Conservatives are taking only one side and by threatening the union and the workers with back-to-work legislation, it removes a lot of pressure from the employer,” said the Montreal MP.

“It constitutes another attack against the rights of the workers to associate and to freely negotiate.”

The workers went on strike early Wednesday morning after last-minute negotiations failed. Freight service was then suspended across the country.

P.O.V.

Should CP workers be forced back to work? Take our survey.

Officials with the railway and the union met with Raitt on Tuesday morning, where they agreed that commuter trains in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto will keep running in the event of a strike. That means 65,000 Canadians were able to get to work as usual Wednesday morning, Raitt said.

Two intercity Via Rail routes in Ontario that use CP infrastructure will be affected by the strike. Via Rail said on Wednesday that passengers travelling between Ottawa and Toronto will have to take buses between Ottawa and Brockville, with train service still available on the journey between Brockville and Toronto.

The Toronto to Sarnia route is also affected, with four trains cancelled — numbers 85, 86, 88 and 89 — and buses provided as an alternative. Trains from White River to Sudbury have also been cancelled numbers —185 and 186 — with buses providing alternate transportation.

The TCRC represents 4,800 engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers in Canada. The union and CP have been negotiating since October in an attempt to renew the collective agreements that expired Jan. 1, 2012.

Finnson says the major points of contention for the union are pensions, some work rules and fatigue management.

Management shakeup at CP

The strike comes at a time of major changes at Canada’s second-biggest railway. A bruising months-long proxy fight with the railway’s biggest shareholder culminated last week in Fred Green’s exit as CEO.

New York hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management argued the railway was lagging under Green’s leadership and that a change was necessary.

Green and five other board members stepped down hours before the company’s annual general meeting last Thursday after shareholders voted overwhelmingly for director nominees on Pershing’s slate.

The Teamsters’ Finnson said the union has not yet met with Green’s interim replacement, Stephen Tobias. He said the management shakeup has not affected the bargaining process.

from:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/05/23/canadian-pacific-strike.html

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Lisa Raitt was born on May 7th, 1968 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Raitt

May 7th, 1968

5 + 7 +1+9+6+8 = 36 = her life lesson = Having her work cut out for her.

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May 7th, 1968

May 7th

5 + 7 +2+0+1+2 = 17 = her personal year (from May 7th, 2012 to May 6th, 2013) = Be realistic.

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17 year + 5 (May) = 22 = her personal month (from May 7th, 2012 to June 6th, 2012) = Like a three ring circus.

22 month + 23 (23rd of the month on Wednesday May 23rd, 2012) = 45 = her personal day = Common sense solutions.

Five of Cups Tarot card

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Oct 21, 2011      10:54 AM ET

The government has to look at changing the labour code to include the economy as an essential service, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said Friday — a day after Air Canada and CUPE agreed to go to binding arbitration and avoid a work stoppage.

After threatening back-to-work legislation for both Canada Post and Air Canada in June, and sending a second Air Canada dispute to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board to stop a strike, Raitt says it’s clear in the government’s legislation that they look to economic reasons as well as to the way the labour code defines essential services.

Asked whether she’s considering redefining the code to include the economy as an essential service, Raitt says it’s “a big question” she’s examining with an advisory committee made up of academics and union and management representatives.

“It’s a big discussion that has to happen,” Raitt said to Rosemary Barton on CBC’s Power & Politics.

“What we do, and of course you can see that in our legislation, is that we deem not necessarily in terms of essential services, but when we see there’s effect on the national economy, we introduce an act in Parliament to ensure there’s not a work stoppage.”

“Our code is specific that it has to be health and safety in order to avoid a work stoppage.… But we are seeing more and more this notion of the economy.”

Air Canada and CUPE move to binding arbitration

Earlier in the day, Raitt offered her congratulations to Air Canada and its unionized flight attendants after they agreed to go to binding arbitration and avoid a work stoppage.

“This negotiated settlement is unquestionably in the best interest of employees, the travelling public and the Canadian economy,” Raitt said in a statement. “I commend both parties for their continued efforts in resolving this labour dispute.”

Late Thursday, the airline and the union announced they have agreed to let the Canadian Industrial Relations Board act as an arbitrator to resolve the contract dispute.

The airline and the union representing its 6,800 flight attendants have two weeks to come to an agreement and negotiate a deal through the board. Neither side can engage in any work disruption during the binding process.

A CUPE spokesperson told CBC News Friday that both sides dropped their complaints of unfair labour practices as a condition of the arbitration process. CUPE also said it is the union’s expectation that the board will notify Raitt that her two ministerial referrals are now “moot.”

Those referrals related to health and safety concerns if there were a work stoppage, and an investigation into the breakdown of the collective bargaining process after the membership twice rejected tentative agreements.

The federal government said last month it would introduce back-to-work legislation if necessary, even as it referred the dispute to the CIRB. The NDP criticized those moves as interfering in negotiations, but Raitt defended the government’s decision.

“Our government remains supportive of the concept of free collective bargaining, and as I have always stated, it is best when both parties work together to achieve an agreement,” Raitt said in Friday’s statement.

The flight attendants had rejected two tentative contracts and were on the verge of going on strike when Raitt referred the matter to the CIRB.

On Friday, the flights attendants, backed by their supporters, staged a noon-hour rally in front of Parliament Hill to show their public displeasure with the federal government.

from:  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/10/21/raitt-air-canada-flight-attendants.html

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Lisa Raitt was born on May 7th, 1968 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Raitt

May 7th, 1968

5 + 7 +1+9+6+8 = 36 = her life lesson = what she is here to learn = Managing.  Weighty responsibilities.

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May 7th, 1968

May 7th

5 + 7 +2+0+1+1 = 16 = her personal year (from May 7th, 2011 to May 6th, 2012) = Shocks.  Surprises.  Unpredictable.  Anything can happen.  Expect the unexpected.

16 year + 10 (October) = 26 = her personal month (from October 7th, 2011 to November 6th, 2011) = Popular.  In the news.  Making headlines.

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