|CAW/CN CIRB updates
The CAW has filed separate complaints to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) against CN and its subsidiary company, CN
Transportation Ltd. (CNTL), which employs members of CAW National Council 4000 who work as Owner Operator truck drivers.
CN WorldWide Ground
The Union filed a complaint last year against CN and CNTL in concern of another subsidiary company starting up in Edmonton, where
Owner Operators were hired to perform flat-deck hauling of pipe and other commodities for CN WorldWide (CNWW) under the name
of CN WorldWide Ground. A short time following the start-up of CNWW Ground, our Edmonton Owner Operator membership started
to notice that CNWW Ground was showing up at CN Intermodal Terminals in Edmonton and Calgary, performing work that belongs
to CNTL Owner Operators who are represented by the CAW. In addition to flat-deck trailer work, CNWW Ground was also seen
hauling Intermodal containers throughout parts of Alberta and the CN Terminals of Edmonton and Calgary.
The CAW Legal Department filed a complaint last September pursuant Section 97 of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) alleging a
violation of Sections 94 and 96 of the Code by CNTL. Since then, several arguments have been exchanged in writing between the
parties and the Labour Board. A mediation meeting was held in Toronto on September 18, 2009, with a hearing scheduled for
September 30th and October 1st, 2009, also in Toronto.
During mediation, the parties agreed to adjourn the hearing and whereas the parties agreed to meet and discuss an attempt to
come to some resolution of the trucking issues involving CNTL, CNWW and another CN subsidiary trucking company, Precision
Transport, which we contend is also performing CNTL Owner Operator container work that rightfully belongs in the CAW Council
4000 Bargaining Unit. One resolution could be to place the CNWW Ground drivers into the CAW Council 4000 Bargaining Unit and
negotiate a separate collective agreement for flat-deck type work on a system wide (national) basis. The Union maintains that the
work being performed by Precision Transport belongs in the bargaining unit and should be performed by CNTL Owner Operators.
CN Sr. Operation Clerks Walker Diesel Shop
The Union filed a complaint earlier this year against CN following the Company advising our members who were working the
positions of Sr. Operations Clerks at the Walker Yard Diesel Shop in Edmonton, that their jobs were being changed to
non-scheduled (non-union) positions. The work performed by these positions involves the various administration of locomotive
power at the Edmonton Terminal. It is work that has been performed by CAW Agreement 5.1 members for in excess of 15-years or
more. This work is also performed by Agreement 5.1 members in Winnipeg at the Symington Diesel Shop (Diesel Services Clerks).
CN also abolished the positions in Winnipeg and turned the jobs into non-schedule positions.
The Union filed an unfair labour practice complaint pursuant to Section 97 of the Code over the changes in Edmonton, and filed a
work ownership grievance in Winnipeg contending that the work in question rightfully belongs in the CAW Agreement 5.1 Bargaining
Unit. Part of the Union's Section 97 complaint also concerned the Company denying CAW Local 4001 Chairperson John Dowell a
leave of absence for Union business in accordance Article 17.3 of Agreement 5.1 to attend Joint Conference with CN Labour
Relations to discuss outstanding grievances.
CN is arguing that the work in question is management-type work, and that Edmonton and Winnipeg are the only locations that at
the time of making these changes, where CAW members performed this work. The Company also argues that new technology -
SmartYard - has seen a reduction of the clerical portion of the job, which in turn justifies their change. Albeit the Company is
employing the same number of positions to perform the work, the only difference being is that they are now non-scheduled
A mediation meeting was held with the Board in Edmonton on September 8, 2009. Unfortunately, a settlement could not be
reached. Therefore, a hearing will be held in Edmonton in January 2010. The hearing was initially scheduled for December 2009,
but the Company's lawyer assigned to this case was unavailable, so an agreement was made to reschedule.
Section 18 application - CN Agreement 5.1
The CAW filed a Section 18 application with the CIRB to review the structure of the bargaining unit so as to include some 400
non-scheduled or management positions that the Union believes performs what is essentially clerical work which falls under the
scope and recognition of CN/CAW Agreement 5.1, and should fall under the CAW National Council 4000 Bargaining Unit at CN.
The Union contends that many of the positions and work at one time were established in the bargaining unit, or, the work is
appropriate to be included in the bargaining unit.
The last time the Union made an application under Section 18 of the Code was back in 1998, whereas the Union was successful in
some 200 non-schedule positions being returned or established in the CAW Agreement 5.1 Bargaining Unit.
Since the Union made its application early last year, several documents have been exchanged in writing between the parties and
the Labour Board. The application is still in the works, but the parties have agreed, in conjunction with the Union's Section 97
complaint Re: CN WorldWide Ground, to meet and discuss this application further with the intent of coming to a mutually acceptable
We will continue to post updates as they become available.