MONTREAL — CN on Nov. 25 received a 72-hour strike notice from the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) of its plan to strike the company at 1 a.m. on Nov. 28.
CN said the TCRC’s decision is unfortunate because a strike is in no one’s interest – not the locomotive engineers, CN’s other employees, its customers or the Canadian economy.
CN is urging the TCRC to resume negotiations immediately to reach a settlement. If that is not possible, CN believes the union should agree to submit issues in dispute to binding arbitration before the Nov. 28 strike deadline.
Such an approach is fully consistent with the TCRC’s agreement to binding arbitration to end its strike at VIA Rail Canada Inc. in July 2009. In that dispute, the TCRC asked for two per cent wage increases – the same as CN’s last offer to the union.
If the TCRC strikes CN, the company is committed to provide the best possible service to its customers in the circumstances.
On Nov. 23, CN notified the TCRC of its intention to implement only one work rule change to the collective agreements and increase wages by 1.5 percent effective Nov. 28. CN said it decided to invoke these contractual changes “to move the company forward after 14 months of bargaining with no resolution in sight.”
The TCRC’s last contract with CN expired on Dec. 31, 2008.