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CP Railroad Strike Likely to Continue Through Friday

5/30/2012 1:00:00 PM
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A strike at Canadian Pacific Railway will continue at least until Friday, due to passage by Canada’s opposition Liberal party to delay passage of back-to-work legislation, Reuters reported.

Freight operations at CP, Canada’s second-largest freight railroad, have been halted for a week after 4,800 unionized employees walked off the job over the company’s plan to cut pension payments in their new labor contract.

CP’s customers, including automakers, farmers and miners whose products are stranded in warehouses, silos or railcars, have urged government officials to step in to end the strike.

The House of Commons passed a bill backed by the ruling Conservative party early Wednesday, and Labor Minister Lisa Raitt said she hoped the strike would be settled by Thursday, but Liberal party members prevented the Senate from taking the bill up immediately, Reuters said.

Canada’s two main opposition parties, the New Democrats and the Liberals, have criticized the federal government for stepping in to halt strikes, arguing that it infringes on workers’ rights, while Conservatives argue that action is needed to protect an economy still emerging from recession.

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