|CAW challenges closure of CN Mac Yard Car Shop|
|August 31, 2005
Canadian National Railway has announced that it will close its MacMillan Yard Heavy Repair Centre in Toronto. The closure
means that some 25 jobs will be abolished on November 23rd, including 19 car mechanics, 3 helpers, 2 heavy duty
mechanics and 1 electrician. CN says, however, that there will be “no adverse effects” as an equal number of positions will
be re-created elsewhere in MacMillan Yard.
The official notice of the closure doesn’t spell out any reasons for the move, which has left union representatives raising
CAW Local 100 - Lodge 110 Chairperson Drew Ratajewski notes that work belonging to CAW union members, such as
program hopper cars, is now apparently scheduled to be shipped to
CN’s car repair facility in Centralia, Illinois instead. “CN claims there is no job loss,” he said. “But with work being farmed
out every day and one less facility to do that work, future job loss will be unavoidable.”
It is interesting to note that CN publicly raised the prospect of closing its Centralia Car Shop in 2004, but decided after a
“study” to keep it open. If a similar study was made for Mac Yard, it has not been shared with the Union.
CAW Local 100 regional vice-president John Gouveia points to increasing quantities of car repair work being contracted out
by CN, much of it being sent to facilities in the United States – contrary to CAW collective agreement provisions. The
announced closure, he said, makes it all the more urgent to deal with the existing grievances relating to car work.
Local 100 president Bryon De Baets met with Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW president Buzz Hargrove, to discuss
the situation. They agreed to a number of immediate measures,
including referring the issue to the CAW legal department for advice; seeking to expedite the handling of the car repair
grievances; and publicly challenging CN’s decision to close the shop.
Source: CAW Railfax