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Rail News: Labor

Workers at Greenbrier's TrentonWorks plant ratify three-year contract


The strike threat looming over The Greenbrier Cos.’ TrentonWorks plant the past few weeks has lifted. Today, the company announced employees at the Nova Scotia, Canada, freight-car manufacturing plant ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement.

Represented by the United Steelworkers of America, the employees had been working under an agreement that expired Oct. 31, 2006, and the plant had been operating under a strike vote since early March.

Negotiations on a new contract were “tense” because Greenbrier officials sought cost and productivity concessions, the car builder said in a prepared statement. TrentonWorks has been hit hard by a strengthening Canadian dollar vs. the U.S. dollar and other inflating operating costs, Greenbrier said.

“The new agreement … removes some uncertainty about the labor situation at Trenton, and some progress has been made on the severe economic disadvantages which face this facility,” said Greenbrier Presdient and Chief Executive Officer William Furman. “We are still discussing with government representatives how the local economic outlook can be improved. TrentonWorks’ future will remain on the agenda of the April meeting of Greenbrier’s board.”