Rocky Mountaineer employers say they're working on mending fences with Teamster employees now that a long and heated labour dispute is over.
On Saturday, 103 members of Teamster Local 31 voted to ratify a three-year contract that had been negotiated between the union and railtour company after a 14-month lockout, said company spokesperson Ian Robertson.
Saying it feels "outstanding" to have the protracted dispute resolved, Robertson declined to provide the details of the memorandum of agreement.
According to a previous interview with Teamsters vice-president Doug Finnson, major sticking points were pensions, some work rules and fatigue management. Calls to the union were not returned this week.
The operation was unaffected, said Robertson, since the train's federal jurisdiction permitted management to hire replacement workers. Replacement workers would've been illegal under provincial law.
The company offered to re-book trips for travellers opposed to crossing picket lines. But of the nearly 60,000 who ride the Rocky Mountaineer during its April to October season, no more than 20 guests chose to postpone their trip, said Robertson.
Meanwhile, picket lines popped up sporadically at various stops along the train's Vancouver to Calgary route, including Kamloops where it overnights.
In some locations, the dispute became ugly as picketers were accused of "harassing" surprised passengers and replacement workers, who were in turn accused of taunting picketers. (Such incidents were not reported in Kamloops.)
The situation led Rocky Mountaineer to file an injunction against the union, which eventually had to pay a $25,000 penalty for the picketers' behaviour.
But now that's all water under the bridge, said company spokesperson Ian Robertson.
"We have a plan in place to ensure that we are welcoming our colleagues back within the organization," he said. "We're really confident that both sides will be able to put the past behind each of us and move forward."
The returning unionized team will undergo a "significant amount" of re-training, according to a company press release. Returning workers could be back on the job by Sept. 21, it stated.
Robertson said the resolution "could not have come at a better time."
The company is in process of expanding its service with a new Coastal Passage route into the U.S. and expansion of a new SilverLeaf Service, which runs through the Canadian Rockies.