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Rail News Home Labor

2/26/2007



Rail News: Labor

UTU-Canada, CN reach tentative agreement, but strike will go on until late March ratification ballot



As the United Transportation Union-Canada strike against Canadian National Railway Co. reached the two-week mark on Saturday, the parties reached a tentative agreement. But the strike will go on until the union conducts a ratification vote.

Terms of the tentative agreement weren’t disclosed and won’t be made public until UTU-Canada members receive a copy of the proposed settlement and ratification ballot in the mail. The union will count ballots and announce voting results on March 26.

CN and UTU-Canada officials hammered out the tentative agreement as the Canadian Parliament worked to pass back-to-work legislation. On Friday, Canadian Labor Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn introduced legislation that would have ended the strike if the railroad and union failed to reach an agreement.

"We are retaining our strike mandate during the ratification process," said UTU Canadian vice presidents and chief negotiators John Armstrong and Robert Sharpe in a prepared statement. “However, we are urging all members to return to work during the process. We are hopeful that this will greatly reduce the possibility of the Canadian government continuing to move forward on back-to-work legislation.”

The union, which represents 2,800 CN conductors and yard-service workers in Canada, launched a strike Feb. 10 after contract negotiations broke down over a disagreement on wage increases. The previous contract expired on Dec. 31. CN management personnel will continue to fill in for striking workers.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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