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Rail News: Labor

Canadian Labor Congress umpire flags UTU for 'raiding' CPR workers, BLE says


On Nov. 19, a Canadian Labor Congress (CLC) "impartial umpire" found United Transportation Union guilty of "raiding" Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers-represented Canadian Pacific Railway workers in July, according to a statement released by BLE Nov. 21.

During the July 4 weekend, several UTU representatives "canvassed" a CPR property and asked BLE members to sign UTU membership cards, according to BLE’s CLC complaint.

"From the very beginning, we correctly called this UTU attack on our membership a raid, and now the Canadian Labor Congress has agreed with us," said BLE International President Don Hahs.

The umpire determined that UTU’s actions violated CLC’s constitution, which prohibits unions from organizing or attempting to represent employees who already have a collective bargaining representative.

BLE and UTU are negotiating a new contract with CPR under the auspices of the Canadian Council of Railway Operating Unions (CCROU). With the signed memberships cards, UTU obtained a certification hearing before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to try and become CPR workers’ sole bargaining agent, BLE officials said.

CIRB conducted the hearing Oct. 15 but has not issued a formal decision.