|CIRB hearing on legality of UTU/CN strike postponed until February 19
|A hearing was held on Monday, February 12, 2007 in Montreal before the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) between CN and the United Transportation
Union (UTU), both the International office and the Canadian section of the Union concerning the legality of the current strike between the UTU and CN.
The UTU International office contend that UTU-Canada was not the Certified Bargaining Agent, but rather the Cleveland based International office was. On this
basis, the UTU International argued that the Canadian section were not in a legal strike position. CN also adopted this position. The CIRB reportedly,
appeared perplexed that the motion of UTU-Canada was being opposed by the UTU.
The lawyer representing the International requested a postponement due to the lack of time to prepare, which CN did not oppose. The Board reportedly,
appeared surprised that CN had changed its position concerning the urgency of their application since CN initially requested a cease and desist, or failing
such, that a hearing with the Board take place on February 10th, which was the first day of the strike.
The CIRB agreed to allow the International Union until Thursday, February 15th to present their submission, while UTU-Canada was given until Friday,
February 16th. The hearing was therefore postponed until Monday, February 19th. In the meantime, the strike will continue.
The UTU-Canada Bargaining Committee reported that although they vehemently disagree with the position taken by the International and CN with respect to
who is the bargaining agent, they are unable to return to the bargaining table until a decision is rendered by the CIRB.
During the hearings, the UTU-Canada Bargaining Committee offered to return to work and to the bargaining table if CN agreed that there would be no penalties
or discipline, however, the Company declined.