|UTU and CN reach a tentative settlement - Back-to-work legislation pending
|membership. Both the Union and Company are withholding details of the deal until UTU members receive copies of the tentative settlement.
A news interview on Edmonton radio station 630 CHED with a local UTU representative confirmed that the agreement is a one year contract with a 3% wage
increase retroactive to January 1st 2007, with improvements to benefits.
The UTU reports that they are maintaining their strike mandate, but are urging members to return to work during the mail-in ratification process. The Union
says that the ballots will be counted at their Ottawa offices on March 26.
UTU Vice Presidents John Armstrong and Robert Sharpe, who were assigned the responsibilities of resuming negotiations with CN during the two-week strike
after the four Canadian General Chairpersons were removed from office for engaging in unauthorized strike action and dual unionism, said: "We are hopeful
that this (tentative agreement) will greatly reduce the possibility of the Canadian government continuing to move forward on back-to-work legislation until such
time the ratification process is completed and the results known." Affected UTU members will receive a copy of the memorandum of settlement at the same
time they receive their mail-in ratification ballot.
On Friday, February 23rd, the Federal Government tabled back-to-work legislation in the House of Commons to end the two-week labour dispute between CN
and the UTU, which represents approximately 2,800 conductors and yard crews at CN. Federal Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn has said that based on
the tentative agreement, the government would suspend the back-to-work legislation if striking UTU members returned to work by Monday. The Union said
they expect their membership to all be back working on Monday.