Workers at CN and CP Rail Vote to Strike, if Necessary

January 13, 2011, 11:47 AM EST

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Workers have overwhelmingly voted to take strike action if necessary at both CN and CP Rail as negotiations with the companies continue and the deadline approaches. The workers are represented by the CAW.

Workers at CN make up three different CAW bargaining units and have voted in favour of a strike if necessary, as follows:

Local 100 - 95 per cent
Council 4000 (office and clerical) - 82 per cent
Council 4000 (mechanical) -100 per cent
Council 4000 CNTL (owner operators) - 93 per cent

The CN strike deadline is Tuesday, January 25 at 12:01 a.m. The CAW represents 4,300 workers at CN in all bargaining units combined.

Workers at CP, represented by CAW Local 101, voted 89 per cent in favour of going on strike if necessary. The strike deadline is Tuesday, February 8 at 12:01 a.m. The CAW represents 2,100 workers at CP.

CAW President Ken Lewenza said that negotiations with both companies have been challenging so far with each demanding concessions of the workers. "Our members have spoken loudly and clearly about their issues and concerns and this high strike vote is a strong indication that our members are absolutely serious in addressing these concerns at the bargaining table," said Lewenza. 

"Workers at CN and CP will enjoy the full support of the union as they fight concessionary demands and secure a decent contract."

The bargaining committees at both CN and CP thanked the membership for their solid support and remain determined to reach a fair and equitable settlement on behalf of their respective members.

The voting took place in meetings right across the country over the last week. Negotiations with both companies commenced in October.

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