Monday, February 3, 2014

Labour rumblings could derail CN traffic to Prince Rupert

What was originally thought to be a slam-dunk acceptance of a contract proposal, has apparently gone a little sideways.

That as word comes out that members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference  have decided to reject a recently signed tentative deal, sending negotiators back to the discussion table to try and sort it all out.

As we outlined on the blog in November, CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference had reached a tentative three year deal, however as the ratification process moved ahead, union members began to express a number of concerns on negotiated issues.

When the final count came in, some 60 percent the union's members had rejected the deal, the main sticking point a level of mistrust between union members and CN and the need for assurances that rest provisions in the current agreement will be respected.

Logistical issues regarding crew relief have apparently escalated since the memorandum of agreement
had been reached, a situation that led to the union members holding back their ratification of the tentative deal.

CN and the Teamsters are looking at the ratification troubles and are considering how to address them.

While there is a possibility of a labour disruption, the two sides which will meet this afternoon with the goal of finding a solution to the latest concerns.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference is in a position to serve a 72 hour strike notice, though union representatives stressed that the preferred solution will come from further negotiations.

You can find more items of interest on CN operations in the Northwest on our archive page.

Reviews of the background on the current labour situation can be found below.

National Post-- CN to meet with union after yard and train workers reject deal
Globe and Mail-- Tentative contract for 3,000 CN Rail workers rejected
Progressive Railroading-- CN, TCRC to resume negotiations after tentative agreements aren't ratified
Yahoo Finance-- CN Rail to meet with union over stalled labour deal

Update:  The Teamster's Rail Conference Served Strike notice on CN on Wednesday, potential for strike action along the rail network could come as soon as Saturday.

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