|IBEW members to strike CN Rail March 26th!|
|March 24, 2005
"CN signal and communications workers will stop working Friday midnight. The picket lines will go up. Another CN strike is
about to begin," says Kevin Kearns, IBEW General Chairman.
IBEW members install, maintain and repair CN's signals and communications systems including highway warning systems, fibre
optic networks and the centralized traffic control system. The union represents about 730 CN employees across Canada.
"We are disappointed but we had no choice. There are a number of problems including standby provisions, quality of life issues,
wages and benefits," Kearns says. "But the real problem is trust." He says CN did not honour an agreement contained in the
last contract which required the corporation to conduct a skills study.
"In full view of 730 IBEW members CN broke its word. It denied, evaded and delayed. Four years later we have no skills study.
The skills study is very important to us. But making the corporation understand it can't just break its word with no
consequences is even more important," Kearns says.
Kearns says the skills study would identify the level of technical expertise required of signal and communications employees and
thus help the union to make comparisons to workers in other sectors.
"We're underpaid compared to people doing similar jobs in other big companies," Kearns says. Kearns says the union expects
the strike will have an immediate impact on CN's bottom line.
"They are going to have to pay twice as much to get half the work done."
"With CN operating at capacity any degradation of the system that leads to deterioration of on-time rates is going to take money
straight out of the $18 million a day CN makes," Kearns says.
CAW supports IBEW System Council 11 and its members in their struggles to achieve a collective agreement with CN
Source: Canada Newswire