CN Rail to meet with union over stalled labor deal

Mon Feb 3, 2014 12:11pm EST
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co said it will meet on Monday afternoon with officials from the union representing 3,000 train conductors, yard workers, and traffic coordinators to discuss solutions after members rejected a tentative labor deal.

Union members have "a lot of mistrust" with Canada's largest railway, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference General Chairman Roland Hackl told Reuters, and will need assurances that CN will respect rest provisions for workers in the current agreement.

"It has been an ongoing problem," Hackl said, of members working 12 hours shifts despite asking to be relieved after 10 hours.

"There's logistical issues in relieving a crew, so we understand when it happens occasionally, but ... it has grossly escalated since the memorandum was reached."

CN, which negotiated a new three-year agreement with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) in October, said extreme winter weather conditions since last December have hampered normal operations and slowed trains.

"CN complies with the statutory rest provisions for its conductors in accordance with federal government regulations. Whenever the TCRC-CTY has brought perceived contractual rest provision problems to the attention of management, CN has taken immediate steps to address them," said CN spokesman Mark Hallman.

The company and union will "start to review the ratification results and to discuss solutions on how we can move forward."

Hackl said that some 60 percent of workers who voted had rejected the deal. He expects outstanding issues will be resolved but could not predict the timing.   Continued...

Trains shunt cars at the CN Intermodal yard in Brampton February 23, 2007. REUTERS/J.P. Moczulski