OTTAWA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Canadian government is expected to introduce legislation on Monday that would send more than 3,000 striking workers back to their jobs after contract talks between Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and one of its unions broke down over the weekend.
The introduction of a government bill entitled “An Act to provide for the resumption of rail service operations” was listed on Monday’s order of business under Minister of Labour Kellie Leitch. If passed, it could force employees back to work within days.
Leitch has scheduled a press conference for 3:30 pm EST (2030 GMT).
“Our government will take swift action to protect our economy,” Leitch said on her Twitter feed, noting the strike would cost the Canadian economy, which has already been dealt a blow by plunging oil prices, about C$205 million a week.
Canada’s No. 2 railway and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference failed to agree on terms including scheduling and rest time, prompting train engineers and conductors to walk off the job on Sunday.
CP rail is operating a reduced freight schedule run by its managers.
In recent years, the government has intervened, or threatened to, in several major transportation-related labor disputes including at CP, where it introduced legislation that ended a nine-day strike in 2012. (Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Alan Crosby)