Division 660 Meetings
The next Division 660 meeting will be held on Nov. 26th at 10:00.

This meeting is for TCRC Division 660 Bombardier employees of all classifications.

The meeting will be held at Long Branch legion 3850 Lakeshore blvd West.

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   Is CN inevitably heading toward a work stoppage?

CN Picture courtesy of TCRCSeptember 27th 2010  | Source: TCRC  | Printer friendly

Everything now appears to depend on CN’s attitude: Will the company show itself willing to bargain in good faith or will it persist in wanting to impose unacceptable working conditions?

Ottawa, September 27, 2010 -- Despite the insistence shown by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) to negotiate, a strike or lockout at Canadian National (CN) could be inevitable. Either party could now serve 72 hours notice to commence action.

The TCRC represents some 2,700 train conductors, yardmen and traffic coordinators who have been without a work contract since July 22. CN requested conciliation after only six days of negotiation, starting the countdown to a strike/lockout situation. CN’s continued unwillingness to negotiate has been very frustrating.

Last-chance meetings are being held this week in an attempt to break the deadlock, but union negotiators are pessimistic as to the results that will eventually arise from these discussions.

“We are returning to the bargaining table with an open attitude,” explains Bryan Boechler, spokesperson for the Teamsters Union in this matter. “However, we will not compromise with respect to health and safety issues.”

Ballots were sent to TCRC members, and the results that came back were clear: 90% voted in favour of a work stoppage if no agreement can be achieved.

The report filed by the conciliator some time ago has had no effect whatsoever on the course of the bargaining process as the conciliator basically rejected the union’s concerns regarding the rail carrier’s intention to increase the workload of employees already working up to eighteen hours per day. Furthermore, the extremely high number of grievances pending between the employer and the union points to a culture that is quickly deteriorating.

The Teamsters Union is concerned by the prospect of reliving what the locomotive engineers went through in December 2009. Let us recall that CN then broke off talks and forced the union to strike (which at once triggered the federal government to threaten to enact special back-to-work legislation). Afterward, an arbitrator was appointed to the case.

“A strike is inevitable if CN decides to go ahead and unilaterally modify the working conditions that impact the health and safety of our members,” warns Mr. Boechler. “We cannot and will not sit idly by and allow the company to jeopardize the lives of the workers and the general Canadian population.”

Arbitration is not a viable option. In 2007, an arbitrator was appointed to decide the contract for this same group. The TCRC is not willing to accept two consecutive arbitrated settlements that fail to address our safety and health concerns.

Everything now appears to depend on CN’s attitude: Will the company show itself willing to bargain in good faith or will it persist in wanting to impose unacceptable working conditions?

The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 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.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference represents more than 14,000 workers in all trades of the rail industry throughout the country.

Information:

Bryan Boechler, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference
Cell phone: (780) 691-3008
Office: (780) 485-0889
Email: tcrc-cty@telus.net
Website: teamstersrail.ca  

Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada
Cell phone: (514) 609-5101
Office: (450) 682-5521 x236
Email: slacroix@teamsters.ca
Website: teamsters.ca