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Rail News: Labor

Labor: CP traffic controllers ratify pact; CN opens Winnipeg training center


Canadian Pacific workers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Rail Canada Traffic Controllers (TCRC-RCTC) have ratified an agreement by a 94 percent favorable margin, the Class I announced yesterday.

Covering 135 rail traffic controllers in Canada, the pact spans a record six years and was successfully negotiated before the previous agreement would have expired on Dec. 31, CP officials said in a press release. The new contract runs from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2020, and provides a general wage increase of 3 percent per year.

CP officials agreed to make the pay increases effective July 18, the agreement's signing date, and restore the company contribution to the union's employee share purchase plan as of the same date.

"The signing of this agreement is a landmark in many ways," said Peter Edwards, CP's vice president of human resources and labor relations. "It is really a great example of what people working together can do to create positive results that few would have imagined possible before."

The TCRC-RCTC pact is the fifth long-term agreement in place between CP and Canadian labor unions. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, TCRC-Maintenance of Way, Canadian Pacific Police Association and United Steel Workers have ratified long-term contracts with acceptance rates as high as 97.5 percent, CP official said.

The Class I currently has Canadian agreements open to negotiation with Unifor, which represents its mechanical workers, and TCRC, which represents its train and engine employees. Both unions have indicated a willingness to bargain and implement new agreements before the existing pacts expire, CP officials said.

Meanwhile, CN yesterday opened its new $35 million employee training center in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The 100,000-square-foot facility currently conducts courses for 350-plus CN students from across Canada each week.

The new center will offer courses for jobs ranging from conductor to car mechanic to track supervisor to signal maintainer. Employees will receive hands-on training in indoor learning labs with equipment such as locomotive simulators and dispatcher stations, and at outdoor labs with dedicated rolling stock and other equipment designed for field training.

"Our training campus in Winnipeg's Transcona neighborhood — home to a major CN mechanical shop for more than a century — will enhance our railroader training programs, and help us instill a strong safety culture in our new hires and reinforce it among current employees who are learning new skills or upgrading existing ones," said CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau.

For its U.S. employees, CN next month plans to open a centralized training facility adjacent to its Woodcrest Mechanical Shop in Homewood, Ill., near Chicago.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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