Picket peace comes via bargaining, not Bill C-46, Rail Union Says



    OTTAWA, April 16 /CNW/ - United Transportation Union leaders reacted with
anger and dismay today at news of the government's decision to move Bill C-46
forward to Second Reading tomorrow (April 17) and warned that only bargaining,
not back-to-work-bills, will bring long term peace to CN Rail's Canadian
operations.
    "If the government is serious about getting things on track at CN Rail,"
UTU Vice-President John Armstrong said today, "then they should tell CN to get
serious about bargaining with the UTU. Only bargaining, not a
back-to-work-law, will resolve the many outstanding issues at CN."
    The UTU expressed alarm that the government would, for the first time in
a decade, bring forward back-to-work legislation in the midst of a legal
strike.
    "We took the Minster of Labour at his word when he asked the parties to
find a negotiated solution," said UTU Vice-President Bob Sharpe. "Has the
Minister of Labour forgotten the public statements he made only a few days
ago?"
    On April 10, UTU members voted 79% to reject a tentative contract
settlement that had been signed under the threat of the threatened
back-to-work law.
    UTU's Armstrong noted today that it is CN Rail, not the union, which is
responsible for the current lockout slowing Canadian rail traffic. CN has
locked out workers from eight key worksites, including their yard at the Port
of Vancouver - bringing rail traffic to a crawl. "This move is a special gift
to CN Rail from their friends in Ottawa and a slap in the face of all Canadian
workers," he said.
    In February of this year, the federal Government introduced Bill C-46, An
Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of railway operations. The
Bill provides for an immediate end to the UTU's strike action and to CN's
lockout. An arbitrator will be appointed by the Minister of Labour to impose
an agreement through final offer solution rules. Once appointed, the
arbitrator will have 90 days to determine the contents of the next collective
agreement.





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UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION

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