CN said it is offering the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) a 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.
CN said 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.
Claude Mongeau, CN President and CEO, 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.”
On March 22 the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) accepted CN’s offer to enter labour negotiations for a contract settlement on the condition that final and binding arbitration will apply if the parties cannot reach agreement.
Claude Mongeau commented: “I am very pleased that the Teamsters have accepted our offer to negotiate a settlement and, failing such, to submit our differences to binding arbitration. We will meet the union next week to re-engage the discussion. With a process assuring contractual certainty, CN and the Teamsters can continue working on the company’s recovery from an extraordinarily cold winter that hampered operations, and help our valued customers across Canada get their goods to market.”