CN and Teamsters implement new conflict management mechanism

New negotiating process to avoid strikes and lockouts

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and CN are implementing a new mechanism for conflict management, in an effort to avoid strikes and lockouts.

Under the new mechanism, both parties will pay predetermined amount to charities instead of imposing a lockout or strike. The amounts will be paid as long as the parties have not reached an agreement.

The TCRC negotiations committee — representing some 1,700 CN railway workers — met with the rail carrier’s management team on Oct. 28. The union executives proposed the new negotiating process in order to reach an agreement that does not include a work stoppage or service interruption.

“It is time to change the negotiation template, as the tense atmosphere that hung over the previous talks did not serve anyone’s interests,” said TCRC president Rex Beatty. “And if we fail to come to an agreement, my union proposes a new mechanism for resolving conflicts without a work stoppage.”

Meanwhile, according to the union, normal negotiation procedures are continuing smoothly.

CN served its negotiation notice and the union has acted upon it. The parties are expected to file a notice of dispute and request the intervention of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation services to aid in the conclusion of negotiations.

The current contract expires on Jan. 1, 2015. The parties are expected to discuss the use of video surveillance in trains, the grievances management process, the right to refuse work and compliance with provisions of the current collective agreement.

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