National Union carefully peels back CN Rail's scheme for unilaterally re-drawing collective bargaining structures

    CN Rail's proposal contravenes the Canada Labour Code duty to bargain in
    good faith and seeks to weaken UTU bargaining strength contrary to basic
    tenets of collective bargaining

    CN Rail is undermining efforts to reach a collective agreement, and has
    acted contrary to the Canada Labour Code, say UTU spokesmen

    OTTAWA, April 17 /CNW/ - CN Rail has effectively cast a chill over its
relationship with its key union, the UTU, say union officials in pointing to
the media release issued yesterday by CN Rail purporting to fragment the
bargaining structure so as to weaken the UTU's ability to gain improvements
through collective bargaining a single national collective agreement. CN Rail
appears intent on acting on the company's objective of redrawing the
boundaries of organized railway workers in Canada into four fragmented
regional bargaining units. This, despite the fact that the UTU is the
certified bargaining agent for the national bargaining unit, from coast to
coast to coast.
    In the attached letter to CN RAIL's Vice President for Labour Relations,
Kimberly A. Madigan, UTU's Canadian Vice Presidents John Armstrong and Bob
Sharpe advise that they believe that CN has acted contrary to the Canada
Labour Code by pressing recognition issues during the ongoing strike action
and lockouts and by purporting to negotiate in the media and not at the
bargaining table.
    "No one knows better than our membership across Canada that your
threatening press release amounts to bad faith and it is not designed to make
every effort to renew the expired collective agreement," say Sharpe and
Armstrong. "If CN Rail is attempting to push the bargaining parties farther
apart by creating fears of greater uncertainty and disruption to CN
operations, it has succeeded by raising the spectre of fragmentation."

For further information:

For further information: Susan Reisler, Media Profile, (416) 342-1843

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