Laval, February 5, 2014 – Strike action against Canadian National could be taken as early as this coming Saturday.
Since a recent meeting held between the parties, the union arrived at the conclusion that the rail carrier has no intention of abiding by the current collective agreement, namely with respect to fatigue management. It is thereby forcing the TCRC to issue a strike notice.
“With its attitude, CN is endangering the lives of our members as well as the Canadian public,” warns Roland Hackl, chief negotiator for the union. “It’s something we cannot tolerate!”
“CN workers ensure the transportation of hazardous substances and there are trains that cross the entire country through many communities,” adds the unionist. “It takes only seconds of distraction for a derailment to occur. Our people are fatigued and need the rest that the agreements provide for. ”
The agreement in principle reached by the TCRC and CN last fall was rejected by 61% of the train conductors, trainmen and traffic coordinators who took part in a vote. Voter turnout was under 50% which is pretty typical in these votes.
By violating the terms and conditions of the collective agreement, CN has also triggered anger among the workers.
“A collective agreement is a legal contract binding two parties,” adds Mr. Hackl. “The employer can’t justify hundreds of violations a day by claiming bad weather. Our members have told us that they are under the impression that the employer has chosen to disregard what was negotiated in good faith by the parties.”
The TCRC still hopes to reach an agreement before the deadline. However, for that to be possible, the employer will need to be willing to bargain in good faith. The employer demanding a status quo agreement allowing continued violations of the agreements or they will shut down the entire railway and leaving the table after five minutes was not a good sign.
The Teamsters Union represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stephane Lacroix, Director of the Communications department
Telephone: 514 609-5101
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