BMWED Members ON STRIKE on the Canadian Pacific's Delaware & Hudson Railway

Published: Mar 7 2016 6:59AM

CP has failed and refused to pay proper wages and benefits as required by the CBA and has simply ignored/negated provisions of the agreement in violation of the Railway Labor Act

Clark Ballew, BMWED

For immediate release

March 7, 2016

Albany, N.Y. - -  No one goes to work for free. This is especially true when you’re employed on the railroad – an industry that is back-breaking, unforgiving, and perilous. Just and fair compensation for this work is fundamental and expected.

Despite its contractual obligations, Canadian Pacific Railroad is refusing to pay its Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way track workers in a fair and equitable manner.  In doing so, CP has failed to perform the most basic obligation of an employer – to compensate its employees for the work they perform in a timely and accurate way. Our BMWED members on CP have not been fully paid for the time they worked, have not been accurately paid at their contractual hourly rates, have been paid incorrectly or not at all for holidays and vacations, and have been deprived health insurance and supplemental sickness benefits while on medical leave or furlough.

CP is desperately attempting to merge with Norfolk Southern Railroad. This fact is widely known. In an effort to make his company and its proposed merger more palatable to Wall Street, CP CEO Hunter Harrison has deliberately cut payroll staffing with blatant disregard to his employees. This may win him praise from hedge fund managers and stock speculators, but it leaves our members, their spouses and children, out in the cold. As the Union proud to represent these employees, we will not allow this to happen without resistance.

Because Canadian Pacific has repudiated fundamental parts of its collective bargaining agreement with the BMWED, and has exercised self-help in negating various contract terms in violation of the Railway Labor Act, members of the BMWED Northeastern System Federation are initiating a responsive strike against CP. This is not a decision our members take lightly or without pause, but it is one that has been forced to us and one with which we are prepared to protect.

"The BMWED will stand with our members and their families, who Canadian Pacific continues to shortchange benefits and improperly pay, in stubborn disregard to our contractually-bargained agreement," BMWED Northeastern System Federation General Chairman Dale E. Bogart Jr. said. "Our members and their union representatives have been made to wait unreasonable amounts of time by CP to simply make contact with anyone that could employ the necessary corrections to get our members fairly paid. This is unfair and unacceptable. A contract is a contract. Therefore, we are forced to strike until we are fairly compensated."