|October 16, 2006
CAW opens bargaining with Canadian National Railway Co. in Montreal
|Headquarters in Downtown Montreal.
The CAW represents 4,400 members at CN. CAW Council 4000 represents 2,400 members of that total, including clerical,
Intermodal, skilled trades and 350 truck owner-operators. CAW Local 100 represents 2,000 shopcraft workers.
The key issues in the 2006 round of bargaining are:
- Protection against the outsourcing of jobs and the need to bring back previously outsourced jobs to the bargaining unit;
- The need to revamp employee relations at CN with a return to “dignity and respect” as the watchwords when management
deals with employees. A host of workplace issues must be addressed;
- Improvements in wages, pensions and benefits.
Here are some facts and statistics on CN:
- Freight rail traffic is in the midst of an unprecedented boom, with total North American volumes this year expected to reach
their highest level in the industry's 175-year history.
- Total revenue reached $7.2 billion last year, up 87% over the decade, and up 23% since the CAW was last at the bargaining
table with CN in 2003.
- Productivity increases lie at the heart of the company's financial success. Productivity has more than doubled over the decade
in terms of revenue per employee (up 127%), and revenue ton-miles per employee (up 107%). In the last two years these
measures have increased 22% and 10% respectively.
- The company's operating ratio, a key performance measure showing expenses as a share of revenue, improved 40% over the
decade, with nearly a quarter of the improvement occurring in the last two years alone.
- Operating profits increased six-fold over the decade, reaching $2.6 billion last year, and increased 48% in the last two years.
In the first half of 2006, operating profits gained another 15%.
- Net profits increased 54% since 2003, reaching $1.6 billion last year. This year is on track to be a record-setter, with net profits
reaching $1.1 billion in the first half, a 53% improvement over the year before.
- Among North America's "Big Six" Class I railroads (BNSF, CSX, Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and Canadian Pacific), CN
has the best stock performance, highest net profit margin, highest return on equity and most profitable operating ratio.
- (Source: CAW research from company annual reports, financial statements and Standard and Poor’s Capital IQ)