Source: Teamsters Canada
Published: November 23rd 2009
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Talks between Canadian National Railway (CN) and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) representing approximately 1700 locomotive engineers, to renew their Collective Agreement, ended Friday with no further meetings scheduled.
The parties have been assisted by Federal Mediators since August in the hope of renewing their Collective Agreement, which expired on December 31, 2008. Friday’s talks culminated in additional dates being proposed by the TCRC to continue negotiations but CN has declined.
“We are very disappointed that CN has declined to continue negotiations as it appears they want to force Federal Government intervention without having to negotiate” said Daniel J. Shewchuk President of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents CN locomotive engineers, conductors, trainmen and yardmen, “We have offered CN further dates for which to continue negotiations but, to our surprise, CN has declined and we have not seen any change in their position over the weekend.”
In an interview on November 18, Shewchuk had indicated that he was optimistic that an agreement can be reached without any form of disruption but that optimism was tarnished with the events of Thursday, November 19. Thursday’s events have forced the TCRC to look at the possibility of filing a complaint of “Bad faith bargaining” which will be put to their lawyers today.
“We had proposed a number of options for the renewal of the collective agreement, all of which were rejected by CN”, said Shewchuk. “Nevertheless, our position is that we want to continue to negotiate but it is very difficult to negotiate when the other party agrees to an issue and the next day, removes it from the table.”
Teamsters Canada Rail Conference represents 12,000 railway workers with major railroads and shortline railroads across Canada and affiliated with the 125,000 members in Teamsters Canada and 1.4 million members in North America with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.