OTTAWA – UTU members employed by Canadian National have rejected a Feb. 24 tentative agreement.
Picketing of CN rail facilities resumed April 10 beginning at 9 p.m. Pacific time at Vancouver and Kamloops, B.C., and was scheduled to resume at 5 a.m. Eastern time April 11 at Oakville, Ont.
The tentative agreement was rejected by a vote of 1,553 “opposed” and 402 “in favor,” or some 79 percent of eligible votes cast rejecting the tentative agreement.
“UTU members have spoken and their message to the union and to CN is very clear,” said UTU Vice President John Armstrong. “They want a better deal at CN – one that deals with dignity and so-called ‘relationship’ issues."
The UTU thus continued its legal strike against CN – a rotating strike whose locations and times will be of UTU’s choosing. The strike and resumption of picketing is authorized and endorsed by the UTU International.
The UTU formally requested that CN immediately resume collective bargaining in order to negotiate and achieve an improved renewal collective agreement – “one that improves upon the terms of the Feb. 24 rejected settlement and that meets the concerns and expectations of our membership,” said UTU Vice President Bob Sharpe. The UTU also asked the Canadian government not to interfere with back-to-work legislation.
“We are fully aware that the settlement rejected was negotiated under the threat of imminent back-to-work legislation, including forced arbitration under final-offer-selection rules,” Armstrong said.