|Canadian Auto Workers Union ratify three new contracts with CN
|Following a series of ratification meetings held across Canada, members of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) who work at Canadian National Railway
(CN) have voted in favour of all five new collective agreements that were negotiated since October 2006 and finally settled tentatively by the Union and Company
on January 15, 2007 in Toronto.
The CAW has two large Local Unions that represent over 4000 employees at CN and employed in various capacities. National Council 4000 represents more
than 2000 administrative, clerical, customer support, blue collar, skilled trade crane and vehicle mechanics, excavator operators, Intermodal workers and truck
drivers, while Local 100 represents approximately 2000 shopcraft workers with the Company.
The Council 4000 membership voted 87% in favour of the new deal covering CAW-CN Collective Agreements 5.1, 5.4 and Intermodal Supplemental, while the
CNTL Owner Operator truck driver membership voted 83% in favour of their new collective agreement with CN Transportation Ltd.
CAW National Council 4000 President Bob Fitzgerald said “it was a tough round of bargaining, but with the support of the membership we were able to achieve
significant gains in wages and benefits that will form the basis of a stronger workplace environment over the next four years.”
CAW Local 100 voted 76% in favour of their new collective agreement (Agreement 12). Bryon DeBaets, president of Local 100, said the ratification results
“support the tremendous job done by the bargaining committees over many long hours. The leadership, supported by a strong strike mandate, were able to
negotiate a solid agreement, which means a better future for our members, their families and the many communities where they live.”
With the exception of the CNTL Owner Operators, CAW members will see annual wage increases of three percent wage during the first three years of the
contract, with a four percent wage increase in the fourth year. This in addition to other benefit improvements and a signing bonus paid at ratification of the
The CAW also negotiated a “new” Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), which is a post-retirement benefit package that will be paid to CAW members who
retire after December 31 2006. The HCSA is payable at 55% to the employee’s spouse in the event of death of the retiree before the age of 65. This new
benefit will offset employee’s health care costs after retirement. This is a substantial gain for the Union given that today, we see many employers eliminating
pension plans and post-retirement benefits for workers.
CN has also committed to in-source various work within its operations, which will provide greater job security for the CAW membership. The Company is also
committed to hiring more employees, including 60 new automotive and Heavy Duty Intermodal mechanics for the Council 4000 Bargaining Unit following
CNTL Owner Operator gains include a significant one time bonus paid to all drivers at ratification, as well as the continuance of fuel subsidies. Runs of less
than 70 miles will be converted to zone rates, meaning increased income to drivers. Drivers in Vancouver will see the Delta Port Zone Rate increased by
$30.00, while the Edmonton Owner Operator membership will see all their zone rates increased by 3%. The most important gain at the bargaining table was
the virtual elimination of contracting out. CNTL Owner Operator earnings have suffered greatly since the CAW/CN strike in 2004, where CN increased the use
of subcontractors. The new collective agreement will now see CNTL Owner Operators utilized almost exclusively in comparison to the existing agreement of
up to 60% of paid moves.
The new collective agreements are effective January 1, 2007 and run until midnight on
December 31, 2010.
CAW Membership ratify new collective agreements with CN