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1/27/2004



Rail News: Labor

BLET-represented Grand Trunk Western workers bless hourly-wage contract with CN



The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) division of the Rail Conference of the Brotherhood of Teamsters recently ratified an agreement with Canadian National Railway Co. covering 250 U.S. workers on the former Grand Trunk Western (GTW) territory.

Effective Feb. 9 and expiring Aug. 31, 2005, the contract replaces traditional mileage- and rule-based wage systems with hourly wages, job guarantees and more flexible work rules, according to a prepared statement.

"Our innovative, hourly-rated labor contracts for train and engine employees will make CN a more efficient, customer-focused railroad, while providing employees increased pay, job security and a better balance between work and home lives," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison.

GTW's Port Huron, Mich.-to-Chicago mainline provides CN a key corridor link between the Midwest, Ontario and the Maritimes.

"The BLET … is at the forefront of negotiating groundbreaking labor agreements that boost the quality of life of our membership while, at the same time, increasing their levels of pay," said BLET International President President Don Hahs, adding that more than 61 percent of members favored the CN deal.

CN now has secured hourly-rated U.S. agreements covering 1,930 train and enginer-service employees — about 85 percent of the Class I's U.S. workers.


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