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Canadian Pacific starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

Last Updated Apr 20, 2018 at 11:00 am EDT

A Canadian Pacific Railway employee walks along the side of a locomotive in a marshalling yard in Calgary, Wednesday, May 16, 2012. The union representing about 3,000 conductors and locomotive engineers at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. says it has formally served the company with a 72 hour notice of an intent to strike. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train operations ahead of a possible strike set to start Saturday by two unionized workforces.

The company says it has an embargo application in place on shipments going to or from CP’s Canadian locations that will take effect just after midnight on April 21.

Canadian Pacific says it continues to bargain with both the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which have given strike notices for this Saturday.

A spokesperson for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents about 3,000 CP Rail engineers and conductors, said Thursday that less than two days from a strike deadline they had no progress to report.

The potential strike comes at a difficult time for the railway, which is under pressure from shippers to move backed-up grain shipments and supply more trains to the pipeline-constrained oil industry in Western Canada.

The Teamsters union reached a tentative deal with Canadian National Railway Co. last month for a new contract for about 1,700 workers. CN’s IBEW members ratified an agreement in April 2017.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CP)

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that both unions reached a tentative deal with CN in March.