Friday, June 21, 2024

CN reaches labor agreement with Unifor

Canadian railway CN has reached tentative agreements with two labor groups affiliated with Unifor, a union representing mechanical, intermodal, facility management and clerical workers that are part of CN’s Canadian operations.

CN’s tentative collective agreements with Local 100 members and Council 4000 members affect approximately 3,000 employees and avert a rail strike. Members of two Unifor unions had voted to strike earlier this month should an agreement not be reached.  

CN (NYSE: CNI) said it would not provide details on the tentative agreements until after ratification.

“We are very pleased to have reached these tentative agreements,” said CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson in a news release. “CN has always been committed to achieving negotiated settlements to improve the conditions of this important group of employees as we continue our essential work moving the North American economy. We look forward to future collaboration with Unifor.”

But CN wasn’t the only Class I railroad to report agreements with their unions. BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B) reached a sick leave agreement with another union, while Canadian Pacific (NYSE: CP) also reached collective agreements with several unions recently. Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) has also been reaching sick leave agreements in recent weeks.

BNSF said Friday it reached a sick leave agreement with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB). IBB is the seventh union to reach a deal with BNSF for paid sick leave agreements, the railroad said. The agreement calls for four paid days off to use as sick days and the ability to convert up to three personal leave days as sick days each year.

“BNSF remains committed to continued dialogue, including the potential addition of paid sick days for those crafts that did not already have individual paid sick days prior to the recent national bargaining round,” BNSF said.

Meanwhile, CP has reached several collective agreements in recent weeks, with the most recent being with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC-MWED). 

That deal, announced Friday, affects approximately 2,600 engineering service employees in Canada, CP said. CP also didn’t give specifics on the agreement because it still needs to be ratified. 

“By working collaboratively with our valued union partners, we’ve reached another negotiated tentative agreement this year,” CP President and CEO Keith Creel said in a news release. “We thank the TCRC-MWED for working collaboratively with us throughout this negotiation. This tentative agreement is a testament to the hard work and commitment of both sides.”

On March 14, CP also reached a five-year collective agreement with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). This agreement affects approximately 300 employees working on CP’s Soo Line subsidiary, which operates in the Upper Midwest. Locomotive engineers in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana will be affected by this agreement. 

CP also reached a collective agreement with BLET covering CP employees working for certain U.S. operations as well as those with Kansas City Southern. The deal, originally announced March 7, was to go into effect subject to the Surface Transportation Board’s approval of the merger between CP and KCS. STB approved the merger last week.

This new agreement will affect CP employees on the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern South territory in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota, as well as KCS employees in Kansas and Missouri, CP said.

“These hourly agreements improve pay and quality of life for our employees by providing more scheduled time off, something national agreements typically don’t, while creating the operational flexibility needed to deliver better service to our customers,” Creel said earlier this month. “These innovative agreements will create predictable schedules for conductors and engineers and empower us to attract and retain the most talented railroaders in the industry as we successfully serve our customers.”

CP also reached in February a two-year collective agreement with Unifor members in Canada, affecting approximately 1,200 mechanical employees and a collective agreement with the United Steelworkers Local 1976, affecting approximately 550 administrative support and intermodal employees in Canada. 

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Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related links:

2 rail unions vote to go on strike at CN if talks falter

Norfolk Southern reaches sick leave agreement with another union

Union Pacific reaches sick leave agreements with 2 unions

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