CN offers conductors' union in Canada one last chance to reach a contract settlement through negotiation; requires upfront union acceptance of binding arbitration if talks fail
MONTREAL, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) said today it is offering the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) one last opportunity to reach a contract settlement through negotiation on the condition the union agrees upfront to binding arbitration if the talks fail.
The TCRC-CTY represents approximately 3,000 CN train conductors, trainpersons, yardpersons and traffic coordinators on CN's network in Canada.
Senior CN officers are prepared to meet immediately with the union's bargaining committee, enlisting the assistance of federal mediators if necessary, to break the impasse with the TCRC-CTY. Unfortunately, the union has yet to accept the Company's March 20 offer of binding arbitration to settle outstanding contractual issues.
Claude Mongeau, CN president and chief executive officer, said: "CN's extensive, good-faith bargaining with the TCRC-CTY throughout the fall of 2013 produced a progressive agreement to address the union's concerns about work-life balance and help the Company improve service and efficiency.
"After that agreement failed to ratify in January 2014, CN resumed negotiations with the union and secured a second tentative agreement against the backdrop of a union strike notice. This second tentative agreement narrowly failed ratification this week by a margin of less than 40 votes.
"CN is willing to go back to the bargaining table with TCRC-CTY one last time to achieve a fair settlement. But we can only do that if the union commits upfront to binding arbitration in the event our negotiations fail. In the current circumstances, we must move forward with an approach that will provide certainty of outcome for our employees, customers and other stakeholders."
CN is asking the TCRC-CTY to respond to its final bargaining offer by tomorrow, March 22, at the latest.
Mongeau said: "CN sincerely hopes the union leadership will see the value of CN's efforts to negotiate a fair settlement. Job number one for all of us is to continue our recovery from an extraordinarily cold winter that hampered operations, and to help our customers across Canada get their goods to market."
CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is a true backbone of the economy, transporting approximately C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America. CN - Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries -- serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.
Certain information included in this news release is "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. CN cautions that, by their nature, these forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results or performance of the Company or the rail industry to be materially different from the outlook or any future results or performance implied by such statements.
Important risk factors that could affect the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic and business conditions, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.
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