MONTREAL — CN gave the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) notice of its plan to increase wage rates and apply a change to the mileage caps for the company’s locomotive engineers the union represents in Canada on CN.
CN is taking the step after collective bargaining with the TCRC ended Nov. 20 without a settlement, the railroad said. The contract changes are to take effect 0001 hours Nov. 28. The TCRC’s current labor agreement with CN expired Dec. 31, 2008.
CN had informed the union over the weekend of its intention to increase the engineers’ wages by 1.5 percent and implement only one work rule change. Today, TCRC-represented conductors have a 4,300-mileage cap limitation, and TCRC-represented engineers have a 3,800-mile cap.
With this work rule change, both groups of employees working in the locomotive cab will be working under one consistent rule, and the engineers will see an overall increase in their compensation. On average, CN’s locomotive engineers presently work between 15 and 17 days per month.
CN regrettably reached an impasse with the TCRC after bargaining in good faith with the union for more than a year, and has decided to invoke these contractual changes to move the company forward. CN has made several different offers to resolve these collective agreements, all of which have been rejected by the TCRC. CN also offered to refer the matters in dispute to binding arbitration, but the TCRC rejected this option as well. CN still prefers to achieve agreements with the TCRC without a labour disruption.
Under terms of the Canada Labour Code, the TCRC and CN are entitled to engage in a strike or lockout upon 72 hours’ notice to the other party.