|March 20, 2006
Contract Negotiations with Savage Alberta Railway continue
|Contract negotiations between the CAW and Savage Alberta Railway continue. The bargaining committees last met March 14
through 16, 2006 in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Work rules are the focus of attention at this point of talks. Bargaining thus far has been
our lengthy discussions on the implementation of contracting out provisions, which address our members frustration and concerns
on contract employees from CANAC occasionally operating locomotives or trains on SAR right-of-way.
Savage is looking to the Union for flexibility in this area, something that our bargaining committee will not agree to, explained
Kennedy. "We have made it very clear to the employer, in the strictest sense, that we cannot and will not agree to any flexibility that we
view as the beginning bargaining unit erosion."
The Company is looking at allowing the use of CANAC, which is a subsidiary of Savage Companies, in instances of peak surges in
business, where CAW members are not readily available, and in situations where the Company wants to test new business for the
purposes of crew scheduling and customer requirements. The Company expressed their needs in the continued use of CANAC in
part, because of the staffing shortage of running trade employees and difficulties in hiring new employees in the very competitive
employment market of Northern Alberta.
Dates have been scheduled to continue bargaining March 29 through 30 at Grande Prairie. Dates are being planned for mid-April to
commence monetary negotiations.
The current collective agreement, which expired on December 31, 2005, was negotiated between the CAW and Alberta RailNet (ARN).
Savage purchased ARN from its parent company, North American RailNet on May 1, 2005.