Canadian Packaging

CN labour dispute heads to binding arbitration


December 14, 2009
by Purchasingb2b staff

Montreal—Unresolved issues between CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) will be submitted to binding arbitration. The decision was made after renewed negotiations between the company and the TCRC ended yesterday without a settlement.

The company and union agreed, as part of the memorandum of settlement that ended the TCRC’s strike December 2, to third-party arbitration of wage and benefits issues if further talks failed to resolve their contractual differences.

The federal Minister of Labour will appoint an arbitrator, who will have 90 days following the appointment to report to the minister with a final decision on a new collective agreement. Nothing precludes CN or the TCRC from agreeing to further negotiations once the arbitration process starts.

Under the dispute resolution mechanism of the Dec. 2, memorandum of settlement, no further strike action is permitted by the TCRC, nor can CN lockout TCRC members.

The union’s current contract expired on Dec. 31, 2008. The stalemate that caused the strike was caused by issues around a 1.5 percent wage increase, coupled with a requirement to have locomotive engineers work an additional 500 miles per month over the amount required by the current collective agreement, the TCRC reported.

—Photo: CN