|UTU and CN issue views on the state of their dispute and future talks
|On February 14, 2007, discussions were reportedly held between CN CEO Hunter Harrison and UTU General Chair and spokesperson Rex Beatty. CN reports
that Mr. Beatty refused a comprehensive offer from Mr. Harrison to resume collective bargaining on February 19th and for an immediate return to work by
striking conductors and yard-service employees. The UTU-Canada Negotiating Committee reported that they believed an agreement could be reached that
they wanted the Union to agree that they would not issue a strike notice for 60 days.
The UTU-Canada Negotiating Committee reported that it was not prepared to entertain CN’s 60 day request and limit the rights of their membership to return to
strike action should CN continue, in their view, “to frustrate Collective Bargaining.” Last reports by the Union were that CN has not responded to the Union’s
On a new CN website section dedicated to contract negotiations, which the Company states is to “set the facts straight on UTU strike,” CN CEO Hunter
Harrison said: “It’s truly unfortunate that the UTU bargaining team has declined CN’s offer – an offer aimed at settling this regrettable strike as soon as
possible. Because of the general chairmen’s intransigence, the strike continues, with management personnel filling in for striking CN conductors in Canada.
We will maintain this state of affairs for as long as it takes to reach a reasonable settlement with the UTU.”
CN reported that the UTU bargaining team rejected the following offer:
- Resumption of CN-UTU negotiations on Feb. 19, with an immediate return to work of striking UTU members.
- Withdrawal, without prejudice, of CN’s application to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) for a declaration that the UTU strike is illegal.
- Withdrawal of CN’s legal action against the UTU general chairmen and others, for damages from what the company contends is an illegal strike.
- No discipline of UTU members, except those individuals accused of misconduct and/or illegal activities related to the strike.
- A reasonable cooling-off period for renewed bargaining.
- Agreement from the UTU to withdraw, without prejudice, authorization of the strike and strike notice.
- Agreement to recognize the validity of the existing strike vote held by the UTU for a period of 63 days commencing on February 19th and a commitment
by the UTU not to issue the company a 72-hour strike notice prior to the end of the cooling-off period.
The CIRB will continue its hearing on February 19 concerning CN’s application declaring that the UTU strike is illegal because the Company believes the UTU’
s strike notice was deficient and was not properly authorized by the certified UTU bargaining agent (UTU International).
February 15: CIRB hearing on legality of UTU/CN strike postponed to February 19
February 10: UTU walks off the job at CN effective 00:01 EST February 10