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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)