Monday, October 4, 2010

CN Rail Stoppage Averted, Contract Agreement Reached

(Courtney Tower — BarCode Border)

CN Withdraws Work Rules Threat

A threatened strike or lockout in the Canadian National Railway system is off. Late Friday, a tentative three-year collective agreement was reached with 2,700 operating employees, who still must vote to ratify it.

After a week of last-ditch negotiations in Montreal, CN withdrew demands to eliminate two sets of jobs and from its announced plan to impose new work rules on the workers starting Monday. Contract talks had broken off last spring in what a federal conciliation commissioner, in a scathing report blaming both sides, called an atmosphere of “dysfunctional” relations.

CN briefly announced Friday night that it “will have labor stability with this group for the next three years,” but gave no details. However, Bryan Boechler, a spokesman for Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, representing the conductors, trainmen and switching yard workers, told The Bar-Code Border that CN's imposition of new work rules was “off the table.” CN President Claude Mongeau had written to all these employees with this threat if the union would not agree to a new contract.

Read more at The Bar-Code Border.