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"No Progress Reported On CPR Telegraphers' Strike"
Announced 10 October 1896
The telegraph operators' on the Canadian Pacific Railway went on strike September 28, last instant. Mr Pierson, of the Order of Railroad Telegraphers, who ordered the strike, stated that he was "... compelled to do so against my better judgement." The cause of the trouble is stated to be poor pay, and efforts to bring about a more equitable and uniform rate of wages failed because of the alleged refusal of the Railway officials to listen to the telegraph and train dispatcher's grievances. Other grievances include such duties as cleaning out stock cars and sweeping station platforms. The train dispatchers also joined their telegraph brothers, resulting in serious problems for the Company in running its trains. It is stated that many of the men remain loyal to Canadian Pacific and new operators are being put to work, but in the case of the latter the difficulty lies in their lack of operating experience with railway and commerical telegraphic traffic. Conflicting reports exist that all of the train dispatchers over the Dominion have gone out on strike in force, as of this instance. A later dispatch from the Company's headquarters in Montreal stated that the strike was practically over and that only a few men were on strike. All trains are reportedly running on scheduled times. There has been no confirmation of this report. The Dominion Government has asked the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Company for a statement of its case, however, Vice President Shaugnessy has replied stating that there is no question involved except whether the executive officers of the Company shall ignore its rules and deal directly with an operator in Calgary without regard to General Superintendent Whyte of that Division, or with an operator at Ashcroft, British Columbia without reference to General Superintendent Abbott. Such an action on the part of the management, as the operators and dispatchers demand, Mr Shaugnessy says, would destroy everything in the nature of discipline.