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January 11, 2008
Arbitration dates set for CN pension consent grievance
Arbitrator Michel Picher will hear the pension consent grievance submitted by the CAW against CN.  The hearing is scheduled for Montreal on April 7, 24, and
on behalf of the CAW will be the CAW Director of Legal Services, Lewis Gottheil, and Michael Church of the law firm Caley & Wray on behalf of the other unions.  
The CAW issued a Railfax on this matter on December 6, 2007.  You may download a copy from the “Railfax” section of

The two questions raised by the grievance are:

  • Did CN have the right to decide in June 2006 that CN members who quit or are fired before reaching age 55 will no longer have “Company consent” for
    early retirement – meaning a 60% reduction in their deferred pension or commuted value?

  • Does CN have the right to penalize members in the future who leave before age 65?

CN said last year it “intended” to grant consent for a ten-year period for those who reach age 55 (with 85 points).  Besides leaving out almost half our
members, CN has refused to guarantee in writing that it will honour its statement of “intent”.

CN has advised that it will challenge the arbitrator’s jurisdiction to hear any matter related to the CN Pension Plan.  The CAW replies that pensions have always
been the subject of collective bargaining, therefore disputes can go to arbitration.  Arbitrator Picher will ultimately have to decide that issue. will continue to monitor this matter and post updates on any future developments.
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