CPR trains 1,200 managers in event of CAW strike

Canadian Pacific says it has trained 1,200 managers and has a comprehensive contingency plan in place to fully operate the railway should a labour dispute occur with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), with the earliest possible date being February 8.

CP said in a statement that the union represents mechanical services employees who inspect and repair rail cars and locomotives. The CAW represents no other employees at CP.

“The company has a long history of cooperative labour relations and working through key issues with the unions representing our employees,” it said in a statement. “Negotiations are ongoing. The company remains optimistic for a negotiated settlement.”

In other news related to CP, the plans to invest between $950 million and $1.05 billion for capital projects in 2011.

“CP is focused on continuously improving service reliability, asset velocity, and productivity. With strong demand projected in many of our commodity based businesses, this capital plan will enable us to meet our customer’s needs and continue to lower our operating ratio to create a stronger franchise for the future, CP Chief Financial Officer, Kathryn McQuade said in a statement this week.

The 2011 Capital Plan will focus on:

  1. Making strategic and targeted capacity investments to ensure that the efficiencies gained through our long train strategy, repair facility and yard consolidations are sustained as business levels return;
  2. Investing in fast payback productivity and technology projects to further our lean and process re-engineering efforts thereby further improving shipment reliability and customer service;
  3. Pursuing growth and market based opportunities, such as our transload, intermodal and energy projects which produce compelling returns; and
  4. Continuing to invest in our “Digital Railway” technologies to lift efficiency, service and safety to new levels.

Major investment categories include the following approximate amounts:

  • $680 million for basic track infrastructure renewal;
  • $200 million for volume growth, productivity initiatives, and network enhancements;
  • $80 million to strengthen and upgrade IT systems to enhance shipment visibility and information needs, and
  • $40 million to address capital regulated by governments, principally train control.

“Our first priority is to re-invest in the business keeping our core franchise safe and well maintained. The improving economy creates opportunities to capture growth more efficiently through infrastructure and technology investments,” McQuade said.