CP Rail sees trains back 12 hours after no-strike law

Thu May 31, 2012 2:41pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Pacific Railway said on Thursday it will have trains running 12 hours after back-to-work legislation is passed, and is targeting "normal levels" of operations within 48 hours of the start-up.

A bill ending the 9-day-old strike at Canada's second-biggest railway is expected to pass through the Senate late on Thursday. It then gets automatic approval from the governor-general and its provisions take effect 12 hours later.

About 4,800 locomotive engineers, conductors and traffic controllers walked off the job May 23 after talks stalled on company plans to cut pension payments, shutting down CP's Canadian freight operations.

"As part of our careful ramp up with production activity, we're targeting to be up to normal levels within 48 hours of start-up," said CP spokesman Ed Greenberg.

"There will be a period to catch up on backlog and that is something we'll be doing once we're operating again. We'll be doing that as quickly as possible."

Labor Minister Lisa Raitt, who introduced the legislation on Monday after her efforts to mediate between the two sides failed, has said the strike would cost C$540 million ($521 million) in economic activity each week.

CP shares were up 0.9 percent, or 67 Canadian cents, at C$75.75 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.

($1=1.03 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting By Susan Taylor; Editing by Janet Guttsman and M.D. Golan)