|CN / BC Rail integration Update|
|June 26, 2005
Former BC Rail (BCR) employees joining CAW National Council 4000 from the Teamsters, United Association of Journeymen and
Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), and the United Steel Workers of America
(USWA), all members of the Council of Trade Unions on BC Rail, do not officially become CAW members until such time the Canada
Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) approves the certifications. The Union was advised in December that the CIRB would probably
approve and issue the certificates sometime in January. Consequently, we assumed CN already applied. Unknown to us, CN only
applied on March 10th of this year!
When will the CIRB approve and issue the certificates? It now may be months based on some Unions, including CAW Council 4000,
filing objections to the CIRB consequent CN’s application. Why is Council 4000 objecting?
The December 12, 2004 agreement between CAW Council 4000 and CN concerning the integration of BCR, establishes that any BCR
work or positions that perform the same current and traditional work performed by members and occupations of CAW Council 4000,
were to be merged into our bargaining unit. BCR employees who bring in their work with them would have their service and seniority
dovetailed. Notwithstanding this agreement, CN has not lived up to these terms with respect to our Agreement 5.4 membership.
Agreement 5.4 governs CAW Operators/Excavators on the Mountain and Prairie Regions. From our standpoint, there exists full time
excavating jobs on the former BCR. Accordingly, CN is obliged to transfer such work/employees at BCR into our bargaining unit. CN
however, has not met with us to discuss the work or determine the appropriate number of positions that should flow into Agreement 5.4.
Instead, CN has suggested that, in their opinion, there is more “common interest” to place this work into the USWA, notwithstanding the
duties are currently and traditionally performed by CAW Agreement 5.4 members on CN right-of-way. As we disagreed with this
viewpoint, CN threatened to refer the matter to the CIRB and request the Board review not only the BCR excavating positions, but the
present CN positions as well on the basis the work is of more of a common interest with the USWA then CAW. This threat was made
despite our agreement stating that any disputes in regard to the CN/BCR integration be resolved by way of arbitration (CROA&DR), and
not the CIRB. Consequently, we have not reached the full agreement and conclusions as CN had lead the CIRB to believe in their March
As a result of our written objections, we are expecting a meeting in the near future between the union and officials of CN and the CIRB.
To read a copy of CN’s March 10th application, as well as the Union’s objections, log on to www.cawcouncil4000.com/cn-bcr.html.
As we reported on the Local 4001 web site, part of cawcouncil4000.com, we last met with CN concerning the integration on February
16th in Vancouver. At that time, the Company identified what BCR scheduled positions would transfer into the Council 4000 Bargaining
1 position at Fort St. John, B.C. (Classified Labourer); 1 position at Lillooet, B.C. (A Mechanic); 10 positions at North Vancouver, B.C.
(Lead Hands and Reload Equipment Operators); and 18 positions at Prince George, B.C. (A Mechanic Foreman, A Mechanics,
Administrative Clerk, Classified Labourers, Trackmobile Operator, and Warehousemen/Stores Attendants 4 positions). The Company
also advised that 4 non-scheduled BCR Hostler/LMU positions would also be merged into Council 4000, bringing the total number at
Prince George to 22.
The Company also advised us in February that they would immediately establish three vacant positions of Customer Support
Representatives (CSR) to be based at CN’s Customer Support Centre in downtown Winnipeg. CN also recently established two new
positions of Car Distribution Clerks at Walker Yard in Edmonton. These jobs, as the case of the Winnipeg CSR jobs, are to fulfill
customer requirements stemming from the acquisition of BC Rail. Both the Car Distribution and CSR positions were viewed as
management positions at BCR.
The Company has until the end of this year to identify further non-schedule or management positions that fall under the recognition and
scope of CAW Council 4000 Collective Agreements, and those which would revert into the Council 4000 Bargaining Unit.
The Company just completed the process of determining which BCR Hostler incumbents would be transferring to CN at Prince George.
Just one of the four incumbents will transfer and be dovetailed onto the CAW Agreement 5.1 seniority list. Following discussions and
agreement between the Union and CN, three vacant positions were subsequently advertised locally to the entire Prince George
membership (both CN and former BCR employees) and awarded in seniority order. From this point forward, any subsequent permanent
vacancies at Prince George will be advertised on the CN Mountain Regional Bulletins pursuant Article 12.1.
We will be meeting with CN the morning of June 29th at Prince George to discuss various issues, including the status of other non-
schedule/management jobs on the former BCR that should be transferred into Council 4000. Gary Martinson will serve as interim Local
Chairperson at Prince George until such time local elections are held (following the CIRB issuing certificates on the former BCR
The Union will also hold two separate meetings with our Prince George membership (existing CN members and those that will join us
from BC Rail). The meetings will take place at the Coast Inn of the North in downtown Prince George on June 29th at 14:30 and 18:30.
We look forward to meeting the members!