Bargaining Update at CN and CP Rail

December 1, 2010, 2:53 PM EST

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CAW master bargaining committees at CP Rail and CN Rail are in contract talks pushing for new collective agreements covering more than 6,500 CAW members at the two rail companies.

CAW Local 101 continues to challenge CP Rail over a "significant" number of concessions both in work rules and in economics, while at CN Rail, Local 100 and Council 4000 negotiators have been meeting in Montreal dealing with work rules, including issues of overtime and hours of work, especially on weekends.

The bargaining deadline at CP Rail, including a 72-hour notice period, is 12:01 a.m. February 8. At CN the deadline is January, 25 at 12:01 a.m., which also includes a 72-hour notice period.

Strike vote meetings will be held at both rail companies during January 4 to 11. In a note in the Railfax newsletter, the master bargaining committees stressed that the continuing support of leadership and membership is critical to reaching a new agreement.

"Our focus is on reaching a settlement without a dispute that respects the hard work and commitment of our members across the country at both CP Rail and CN."

CAW President Ken Lewenza said rail bargaining is always difficult, even if the corporations are doing well.

"There are a significant number of issues facing the bargaining committees in this round of contract talks and they will have the full support of our union as we move ahead in the attempt to reach a fair and equitable settlement on behalf of our members," Lewenza said. "I have every confidence that our bargaining committees at CN, Local 100 and Council 4000 and CP Rail, Local 101, will make every effort to reach a settlement without a dispute."

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