Published on : Saturday, March 22, 2014
CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) said today it is offering the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) one last opportunity to reach a contract settlement through negotiation on the condition the union agrees upfront to binding arbitration if the talks fail.
The TCRC-CTY represents approximately 3,000 CN train conductors, trainpersons, yardpersons and traffic coordinators on CN’s network in Canada.
Senior CN officers are prepared to meet immediately with the union’s bargaining committee, enlisting the assistance of federal mediators if necessary, to break the impasse with the TCRC-CTY. Unfortunately, the union has yet to accept the Company’s March 20 offer of binding arbitration to settle outstanding contractual issues.
Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer, said: “CN’s extensive, good-faith bargaining with the TCRC-CTY throughout the fall of 2013 produced a progressive agreement to address the union’s concerns about work-life balance and help the Company improve service and efficiency.
“After that agreement failed to ratify in January 2014, CN resumed negotiations with the union and secured a second tentative agreement against the backdrop of a union strike notice. This second tentative agreement narrowly failed ratification this week by a margin of less than 40 votes.
“CN is willing to go back to the bargaining table with TCRC-CTY one last time to achieve a fair settlement. But we can only do that if the union commits upfront to binding arbitration in the event our negotiations fail. In the current circumstances, we must move forward with an approach that will provide certainty of outcome for our employees, customers and other stakeholders.”
CN is asking the TCRC-CTY to respond to its final bargaining offer by tomorrow, March 22, at the latest.
Mongeau said: “CN sincerely hopes the union leadership will see the value of CN’s efforts to negotiate a fair settlement. Job number one for all of us is to continue our recovery from an extraordinarily cold winter that hampered operations, and to help our customers across Canada get their goods to market.”
Tags: Railway News, requires upfront union acceptance of binding arbitration if talks fail