|CAW unsuccessful in Clover Bar TMC Arbitration|
|July 25, 2005 (Updated August 8th - scroll below)
Despite a lot of hard work put into the case by CAW National Representative Abe Rosner, Local 4001 Unit Chairperson Sandy
Barwell and Regional Representative Barry Kennedy, and followed up by an excellent presentation made before Arbitrator Michel
Picher by Abe Rosner, the CAW lost its battle over a dispute where CN assigned traditional duties of the former TMC positions at
Clover Bar, a satellite yard on the eastern outskirts of Edmonton, to UTU Traffic Coordinators. CN abolished the Clover Bar TMC
positions on August 12, 2004. The case was presented on July 14th before the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration (CROA) at
its hearings in Edmonton.
Similarly to the work ownership case the CAW lost in 2000 (CROA 3196), where CN assigned CAW Agreement 5.1 chauffeuring
duties onto company supervisors at Kamloops, B.C., Arbitrator Picher ruled that the existing work ownership language within
Agreement 5.1 - Article 2.2 (Article 3.4 in the Intermodal Supplemental Agreement and Article 1.3 in Agreement 5.4) is meant to
cover work within the entire national bargaining unit, i.e. coast to coast, and not simply on a location by location basis.
CN was able to present all kinds of evidence, from Moncton to Joffre to Thunder
Bay, etc., that showed Traffic Coordinators were performing CAW TMC duties on a regular basis. In fact, they even filed Article 8
notices where it states in black and white that they were abolishing TMC jobs and giving the work to the UTU, only to be followed
by an Article 8.4 agreement that looked after buyouts, but no grievances concerning the work. There are
also locations where grievances were indeed filed, but never pursued.
The Mountain Region was better than most in having warded off the takeover of TMC work. Job abolishment notices on the
Mountain Region are usually followed-up with subsequent letters to CN requesting the rationale behind the reductions and more
detailed information on whom would be performing the job(s) after they were abolished. In all cases, CN advised that the work
would remain in the bargaining unit being performed by CAW members, either at the same terminal or at another location where
the work was being centralized.
The exception being Clover Bar, for which after chasing the company for the cause of the cuts before the jobs were abolished, the
Union learned that duties would be reassigned to UTU members. The Local and Council immediately grieved contending a
violation of Article 2.2 of Agreement 5.1, but again, Arbitrator Picher reiterated that Article 2.2 is national, not local or regional in
This defeat clearly sends a message to the leaders of Council 4000, including Local Chairs and Shop Stewards. Council 4000
“MUST” negotiate amendments to the current work ownership language of all its collective agreements on CN in order that we
may properly secure current and traditional work of our bargaining unit by amending these provisions to be unmistakable that
such work is protected on a location by location basis, not nationally.
The CAW extends its sincere appreciation to local representatives of the United Transportation Union for their solidarity, support
and assistance in this matter. Mike Zenowski, a Traffic Coordinator who gave evidence on our behalf and risked his job when he
refused to do TMC work during the CAW Strike; Steve Hartley, another Traffic Coordinator and UTU representative who wrote in
defence of the 5.1 rights; and Steve Jaworski, Local Chairperson of the Edmonton UTU Traffic Coordinators, who also provided us
Council 4000 also wishes to thank Abe Rosner for his efforts in what we knew at the onset was going to be a difficult case.
Despite this fact, Brother Rosner presented a thorough case on behalf of the Council 4000 membership, not only on behalf of
those Edmonton members the case directly affected, but members across the entire country.
For more on the Clover Bar TMC CROA Case, click on the links below:
CAW brief presented to CROA
Background on the Clover Bar TMC dispute