Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members picket in the early hours of their strike against CP Rail this evening. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

UPDATE: CP Rail reaches deal with union to end strike

Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference began striking at 7 p.m. Tuesday

UPDATE: The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says it has reached a tentative four-year agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway to end a strike hours after it began on Tuesday evening.

The parties also reached a deal for the Kootenay Valley Railway.

Full operations at both railways are set to resume Thursday morning across Canada.

“We would like to thank our members for their incredible support throughout this process,” said Doug Finnson, President of the TCRC. “We believe this is a fair contract that our members can feel good about ratifying. I am personally very satisfied with what we have negotiated.”

The new contract must first be ratified by the TCRC membership before it goes into effect.

“This is a positive result for our TCRC employees and their families, the 12,000-strong CP family, our customers and the entire Canadian economy,” said Keith Creel, CP President and CEO. “It is especially meaningful to achieve a four-year tentative agreement with our valued locomotive engineers and conductors, providing long-term stability for all parties involved. This is a significant step toward a renewed positive relationship growing forward together serving our customers and the Canadian economy.”

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) reached a last-minute three-year tentative agreement with CP on Tuesday evening before the 7 p.m. PST strike deadline.

Creel said he thanked the IBEW for their creativity in negotiations.

“We have come through a number of challenging years to become an operational leader,” Creel said. “I look forward to working with this union to become the employer of choice.”

The tentative agreement with the IBEW union members means that employees will stay on the job and VIA passenger service will not be affected.

“In the end we have reached a good deal for our membership and we’re looking forward to building on the momentum of the last few days,” said Steve Martin, the IBEW Senior General Chairman.

The TCRC announced the strike in a news release, citing that after workers at CP voted to reject the last contract offers, the company is still refusing to negotiate seriously.

In Revelstoke, union members had gathered at the parking lot outside the CP Rail office on Victoria Rd. off of 1st St.

READ MORE: CP rail workers give strike notice

They had tents set up and are walking back and forth with signs, even as the rail rolls in from the south. Though the workers have walked off the job, the union says negotiations are still ongoing.

Roughly 3,000 workers across the country were estimated to be on strike.

The TCRC is coming off an expiring five-year contract with CP Rail, but is pushing the company to address fatigue and labour relations concerns in the latest round of collective bargaining talks.

Given the last-minute agreement with the IBEW, the West Coast Express commuter rail service in the Lower Mainland will not be impacted, according to a Translink spokseperson.

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