|CAW ratifies new agreements at CN
The CAW reached tentative agreements with CN in the early morning hours on January 24, 2011, following a 48-hour marathon
negotiation session. The two sides were facing down a strike deadline of January 25 at 00:01 hours. The ‘around the clock’
negotiation session on January 23rd and 24th was one of several through out the week leading up to the strike deadline.
CAW National President Ken Lewenza commended CAW National Council 4000 President Barry Kennedy and CAW Local 100
President John Burns, and both bargaining committees, on their determination to reach a fair and equitable agreement on behalf of
"This is hard won collective agreements and I commend the master bargaining committees for their perseverance and dedication to
resolving the issues important to our members’ right across the country," said Lewenza.
On January 27th, CAW Local Union leadership at CN from across the country were brought into Montreal to review and endorse the
tentative deals before going on to a series of nation-wide ratification meetings.
More than 100 top leadership from Council 4000 and Local 100 unanimously endorsed the tentative agreements during the January
27th meeting. In attendance were Ken Lewenza, National Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy and Quebec Director Jean-Pierre
Fortin, who all spoke to the delegates and thanked them for their dedication to their membership across the country.
"Without the strong strike vote and dedicated bargaining committees from Local 100 and Council 4000, the improvements that are
in this new agreement and past gains could not have been achieved," Lewenza said. "The corporation, up to the very end,
demanded concessions in an attempt to take away the gains of the past."
Following 10 days of ratification meetings held across the country, the respective memberships of Council 4000 and Local 100
overwhelmingly ratified the new agreements.
The Council 4000 ratification results was 87% in favour for Agreement 5.1 (clerical, mechanical shop employees and automotive
mechanics), the Agreement 5.1 Supplemental Agreement (Intermodal operations) and Agreement 5.4 (excavator operators), and
79% in favour for the CNTL Owner Operator membership.
The Union issued the following statement following the ratification results. “CAW National President Ken Lewenza, National
Secretary-Treasurer Peter Kennedy and Quebec Director Jean-Pierre Fortin are pleased to join Council 4000 President Barry
Kennedy and Local 100 President John Burns in recognizing the hard work of the bargaining committees and national staff. We
would like to compliment the master bargaining committees, the strike captains and strike coordinators, but most of all, the
respective membership for their solid strike vote and solidarity throughout the negotiations. It is clear by the ratification results
that the membership overwhelmingly endorsed these agreements.”
Council 4000 President Barry Kennedy said that the Council 4000 Bargaining Committees worked extremely hard on the four
tentative collective agreements for Council 4000 members at CN (5.1, 5.1 Supplemental, 5.4 and CNTL). “These new agreements
provide gains in benefits and compensation, signing bonuses and breakthroughs in rail bargaining.”
“At CNTL, we negotiated an extensive agreement that addresses many of the concerns expressed by our Owner Operator
membership going into negotiations. We negotiated hourly increases to wait time and shunt rates and percentage increases to
zone and highway move rates. We have enshrined in the collective agreement per diems of $80 per day when members are
working away from home for a period in excess 72 hours. And we also maintained the current fuel subsidy. We now have
extensive provisions enshrined in the collective agreement for proper investigative procedures, including a corrective process for
“We made some significant breakthroughs for members working under Agreement 5.1, the Intermodal Supplemental Agreement and
Agreement 5.4. Improvements were made to wages and benefits, along with a signing bonus after ratification. The Post-
Retirement Health Care Plan has been improved, and we have negotiated for the first time, a prescription drug card, something that
was high on our member’s priority list for this round of bargaining. Also high on this list was paid sick days, which we negotiated for
all weekly rated and hourly rated members – blue and white collar members under Agreement 5.1 and 5.1 Supplemental. We also
negotiated provisions that we believe will offset CN forcing members to work overtime; as well as innovative solutions in improving
member’s work/life balance by creating more assignments with preferred rest days.
The new agreements are all four year agreements, and expire at 23:59 local time December 31, 2014.
September 12, 2010 - Results of the CAW Council 4000 CN Collective Bargaining Survey
September 9, 2010 - CAW opens negotiations with CN