|CAW wins landmark arbitration protecting Canadian work|
|July 3, 2005
CN must stop maintaining Canadian-based locomotives at its U.S. repair shops. That’s the bottom line of a landmark decision
issued earlier this week by Arbitrator Jack Chapman in Winnipeg.
CAW Local 100 represents 2,500 workers whose job are to keep CN’s locomotive and rail car fleet in safe running order.
However, CN’s acquisition of U.S. railways in recent years has expanded its network of repair facilities. When Local 100 reps
learned that CN had been quietly sending Canadian locomotives to its repair shop at Homewood, Illinois, among others, a
grievance was filed.
In his long-awaited decision (issued one year after the hearing), Arbitrator Chapman ruled that CN violated Local 100’s
contracting-out clause. He rejected CN’s argument that it was merely “sending work to itself,” finding that even though CN
owned the shops, it could not legally be the same “employer” on both sides of the border.
“Scheduled maintenance is the bread and butter of our major locomotive facilities at Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto, and the
hundreds who work there,” said CAW Local 100 president Bryon DeBaets. “It was vigilance and detective work by local and
regional union reps that helped uncover what was going on and ultimately win this arbitration, which will help secure our jobs for
CAW National Council 4000 Bob Fitzgerald hopes that this major victory and award will protect work of the Council 4000
Bargaining Unit from being transferred south of the border. Back in the 1997/1998 round of collective bargaining, the CAW, lead
by Director of Transportation Gary Fane, received written assurances by CN for the life of that contract, that Canadian-based
work would not be transferred or performed by CN’s U.S. based operations.
Source: CAW / cawcouncil4000.com