Teck relieved to see trains running

Teck Coal say they are relieved that the Canadian Pacific Railway strike has ended, but are not saying how much of a loss they suffered.

  • Jun. 6, 2012 8:00 a.m.

Teck Coal say they are relieved that the Canadian Pacific Railway strike has ended, but are not saying how much of a loss they suffered from the eight days the trains did not run.

Although the Elk Valley mines were able to stockpile raw material to an extent, Teck will not be able to make up for the days the trains were not carrying coal out of the valley.

Parliament ordered striking workers back on the job on Thursday night last week.

“All is fine now and we’re back on track,” said Marcia Smith Teck’s senior vice-president for sustainability and external affairs. “We were down for eight days, so that definitely will have an impact but I don’t have those figures yet.”

Smith said she will not be able to comment on the loss until the quarterly results are published in July.

The Mining Association of Canada also said they are not able to quantify the impact yet, but agreed that its member companies, which include Teck, will have a backlog as they rely on rail to get supplies to work sites and products to market.

“So a stoppage for a number of days like we’ve seen certainly has an impact,” Paul Hebert, the mining association’s vice-president of government relations told The Canadian Press Friday.

“There’s no question there has been a cost but we haven’t quantified it. We’re very pleased that we’re going to see a full resumption of service.”

Hebert said he expects it will take about three days or so to get service fully restored.

CP Rail resumed operations across its entire Canadian freight network at about 6 a.m. Friday.

The union representing the 4,800 strikers, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, asked its members to end their walkout after federal back-to-work legislation became law Thursday night.

The workers, including locomotive engineers, conductors, yard workers and others, walked out May 23, forcing Canada’s second-biggest railway to shut down freight operations.

The back-to-work law sends the labour dispute to a government-appointed arbitrator, who has 90 days to impose a deal.

The union said that while it disagreed with the law it advised members to obey it and report for work Friday morning.

“We are certainly glad to see the trains running again, and have a very detailed plan worked out with CP Rail to try to get them running as normal again,” said Smith.

Smith also said Teck did not lay off any of its Elk Valley employees or send anyone home during the strike. “Everyone kept working,” she said.