Saturday, February 10, 2007

CN Wildcat

Canadian workers did not wait for permission from their Yankee Union Bosses to go on strike. And of course it began in Montreal, since Quebec workers have a long history of labour militancy.

- Canadian National Railway Co. said on Saturday that 2,800 of its conductors and yard-service workers at its operations in Canada began a strike, a work stoppage that could affect the country's key shipments of grain, timber and other commodities.

CN, Canada's largest railway, said it was putting management personnel on trains and in switching yards to continue freight operations across Canada because of the strike by members of the United Transportation Union (UTU).

CN said the strike is restricted to Canada and its other unionized employees remain at work.

CN said it was ready to negotiate with the UTU at any time, but the company was seeking to have the strike declared illegal because CN said it had been informed that the certified bargaining agent of the UTU members employed at the rail company had not authorized the walkout.

CN says that the proper union representatives did not authorize the strike action and will file a complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

The union admits that while its international president has not provided authorization, it does not affect the legality of the strike.

Rex Beatty, a representative for the UTU said in a statement that the union was “disappointed that it could not reach a negotiated settlement.”

The union submitted an offer to CN that included 3 percent wage increases, paid every Jan. 1 between 2007 and 2009 and also sought a $1,000 bonus paid to employees March 1.





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