| Brothers & Sisters,
We are about to participate in what can best be described as the Last Stand for Locomotive Engineers and the CCROU as the Bargaining Council for Running Trade Employees in Canada.
A small number less than 1% of the UTU chose to conduct a Raid on the BLE on July 4th, 2003, which was the first Shot in this bitter struggle for the sole Right to Represent Running Trade Employees in Canada and in North America.
This action, perpetrated by a small number of UTU Officials, was presented to its Membership as a Necessity to Protect the UTU, but was shown to be what it really was by an independent Judge I quote
An Impartial Umpire with the Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) ruled that the United Transportation Union was guilty of raiding BLE members in July when it encouraged BLE members to sign UTU membership cards at the Canadian Pacific Railway.
I have no doubt that the actions of the UTU were intended to constitute, and in fact did constitute, a raid upon the membership of the BLE, wrote The Honorable Alan B. Gold in his November 19 decision.
This form of a Raid is all too familiar in the United States but in the 100 plus years on Canadian Railroad Labor unprecedented.
This Raid and the consequent actions of this Raid has cost each and every one of us a new and much needed Collective Agreement and the sheer waste of thousand upon thousands of hard earned dollars conducting this unwanted battle.
The Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) in a ruling on Decemner2, 2003, has determined that a Vote amongst all RTEs will be conducted between December 17,2003 and January 30,2004,to settle this dispute between the UTU and the B.L.E./TCRC.
This Vote, and the Two Questions contained in this Vote, has the potential to be confusing and misleading which has created the necessity by Canadian Locomotive Engineers and their valued friends in the UTU to begin a Campaign of Clarification to protect the unique Canadian Concept of the CCROU from those who would Americanize our Working Way of Life.
It cannot be stressed enough that this Vote poses a great risk to each and every RTEs working environment and has the potential to fracture long friendships and working relationships between two proud Organizations and the unique Canadian Labor concept of the CCROU.
This Campaign, which you have generously agreed to participate in, will be the Last Stand in this senseless and costly fight, which has caused more bitterness and dissention than anything C.P. Rail has done to RTEs in Canada in the last 100 years.
It is hoped that this Vote will put, once and for all, and end to the nonsense that has been inflicted upon each and every one of us by a small percentage of UTU Officials and get us back to the Bargaining Table, and reflect the true feelings of all RTEs in Canada.
In the end, if we work hard enough and conduct our selves with integrity and dignity, we will prevail and the attempts by those who would try to introduce an American solution to the working lives of Canadian Men and Women will finally realize that in this Country we do all things with honor and respect.
The Last Stand
There has been much discussion as to how to effectively deal with the Vote that is about to be conducted with all RTEs in Canada.
Those UTU Officials that have brought us to this insanity would like this to be a battle between the UTU and the BLE/TCRC, and force their Members to choose between the two Organizations.
The UTU by shear numbers have an almost 2 to 1 advantage over Locomotive Engineers in Canada and there is no doubt that these individuals hope to Steam Roll Locomotive Engineers through this Vote to achieve their objectives which have eluded them 3 times before in the Past.
These individuals no doubt had hoped that the Ballot would have just one question for RTEs to answer do you want to be Represented by the UTU or the BLE/TCRC.
After achieving success through this question these UTU Officials would then dissolve the CCROU and become the de facto Leaders of one Union representing RTEs across Canada.
To the dismay of these individuals the CIRB chose to pose an additional question do Canadian RTEs want to dissolve the Canadian Council of Railroad Operating Unions.
If Canadian RTEs choose to maintain the unique Canadian concept of the CCROU than the second question forcing RTEs to choose between the UTU and the BLE/TCRC will not be required.
Again the CCROU is the way that Canadians do business, Teamwork and Cooperation, not divide and conquer.
It is through Question #1 that Canadian RTEs will send a clear message to these individuals that Canadian RTEs want this nonsense to end that a National Contract resolved through a Bargaining Unit that represents all Canadian RTEs equally and forcefully, is the Canadian Way and the right way.
Our Campaign will direct our undivided attention to the maintenance of the CCROU not to force a choice between two Unions.
We will communicate to as many RTEs as possible one simple message
A United Canadian Council consisting and representing all RTEs, working in the Best Interests of all Canadian RTEs can only be achieved by Voting NO to Question # 1.
That if 50% plus 1 Vote No for the dissolution of the CCROU that Question # 2 will not be applied, and we will achieve a National Contract sooner rather than later.
That if 50% plus 1 Vote No for the dissolution of the CCROU that individuals that have as their sole objective the best interests of their Craft will represent their Craft, each Family protecting their own Families, each Family a Member of a greater stronger Community the CCROU.
That if 50% plus 1 Vote No for the dissolution of the CCROU that these UTU individuals who would seek to Americanize Canadian Railroad Employees through a disrespectful Raid must stop the insanity of these Raids and get back to serving the best interests of their Membership the Canadian Way and this Civil War perpetrated by a small number of individuals must now cease.
That if 50% plus 1 Vote No for the dissolution of the CCROU that Locomotive Engineers and our Brothers and Sisters in the UTU will have the opportunity to live in Peace with respect and dignity between each other and those who would seek to disrupt this Community are no longer welcome.
RTEs eligible to vote will be those employed on or before July 10, 2003 by CP Canadian lines (including subsidiary and leased properties) as Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Baggage Men, Brakeman, Car Retarder Operators, Yardmen, Switch Tenders.
One look at the Ballot will immediately cause each of you as much concern as it has us.
It is confusing and has the potential to mislead and will require the utmost attention so that RTEs will be able to effectively have their Voice heard.
There are two questions and each question must be answered in order to have their ballot Counted.
Failure to answer Question # 2 will nullify the ballot and create a Spoiled Ballot, even though we are concentrating our efforts on Question #1.
You must make this point as clear as possible.
We are promoting a Council of Two Unions not a choice between two Unions.
We will achieve a Canadian solution by Question #1 and the Unity by Council through Question # 1.
It is our hope and prime objective that this Issue will die after the Ballots are counted concerning Question #1 and that the results of Question #2 will not be applied.
Question # 1 MUST be Answered NO
1.) We must stress the Canadian concept of the CCROU
2.) We must stress that the CCROU will deliver a National Contract
3.) We must stress that this nonsense ends with a NO Vote
In dealing with our Brothers and Sisters in the UTU it might prove beneficial to inform them of the statements made by Donald Warren General Chairperson UTU East In a letter to CCROU members July 21 2003 under the heading of The Council he wrote:
Since the Council was certified on February 13th, 1992 it has worked to the benefit of all Members. The petition focused on the success of the council at CP. Rail . We worked successfully together preserving seniority, benefits, wages and pensions. By focusing on our common interests weve been proactive. We have negotiated innovative agreements.... In bargaining, grievance handling and arbitration, the Council has shared resources, expenses and expertise. The skill and experience each committee brings to the table ensures all Members at CP Rail are well represented.
This individual is one of the 1% of the UTU who now is instructing his Members that the Canadian Concept the CCROU is now not in the Best interests of the UTU
1.) Ask our UTU counterparts if indeed this individual actually reflects their opinion
2.) Ask our UTU counterparts if anyone has asked them their opinion on this Issue
3.) Ask our UTU counterparts if they agreed with the Raid by these 1%
4.) Ask our UTU counterparts if they wish to deny Locomotive Engineers their right to their Own Union, their Own Voice, and their Own Leaders.
We will not slander we will not lie we will not conduct ourselves in any fashion which is counterproductive to the Unity by Council of two great Canadian Unions we are United by Cause and we are proud Canadians.
We thank you all for your efforts and through your actions the hope that once again Canadians will be allowed to resolve attempts to Americanize our way of life by stating Loud and Clear with one voice
Question # 1 MUST be Answered NO
Questions? Please call: