Unifor has announced its disappointed in Canadian Pacific Railway, after the news that the rail transporter will be reducing its workforce by approximately 1,000 employees in the next six months.
“It’s regrettable that CP has decided to cut jobs while they are posting record profits and revenue,” said Brian Stevens, National Rail Director for Unifor, “Last year they eliminated 1,800 staff, now they’re putting another 1,000 out of work despite the fact that they brought in $1.35 billion in net income in 2015”.
The job cuts come on the heels of a Transport Canada order issued to Canadian Pacific on January 14. The order identified working conditions for train crews that “create excessive fatigue.” The order went on to demand changes to the railway’s practices because they pose “an immediate threat to safe railway operations.”
“Canadian Pacific was given this order a week ago. They were told that some of their crews were being worked to the point of exhaustion and now they plan further staff reductions?” asked Stevens.
Unifor is increasingly concerned about national rail safety. In the past three years CP has cut 1,000 mechanical staff, responsible for conducting safety inspections and maintenance of the locomotive and freight cars, and there are currently nearly 100 members on lay off at various locations in Canada.
Stevens added: “The pressure is clearly mounting as our members are routinely forced into overtime and increasingly pressed to perform safety inspections and brake tests in half the required time at some locations. I think we need to ask if CP is putting shareholders ahead of safety here”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including nearly 1,500 rail workers at Class 1, VIA Rail and regional railways.