Workers began a strike against the Canadian Pacific Railway after midnight Wednesday, idling the company’s freight trains.
But the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents 4,800 conductors, yardmen, locomotive engineers and rail traffic controllers, said its members would continue to work on commuter trains in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal.
Teamsters and CP bargained up to the last minute, but were unable to come to an agreement.
Canadian Labor Minister Lisa Raitt tried to bring the two sides together in a meeting on Wednesday, but they failed to reach an agreement. The union said the main issues were fatigue management, pension, health spending, and work rules.
It said negotiations would resume Wednesday morning, and that updates would be posted on its Twitter page
With revenue of $5 billion in 2011, CP is the sixth largest railroad in North America by revenue after Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National.
Last week, management of the railroad was wrested in a proxy fight with shareholders led by U.S. hedge fund manager Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management, who complained that CP's performance for investors was sub-par. - Chris Dupin