CN Rail Strike Deadline Announced

Toronto, Ontario

February 17, 2004


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CN Rail Strike Deadline Announced
CN Rail Strike Deadline Announced
dated February 17, 2004

Toronto, Ontario
February 17, 2004
       Five thousand CAW members, employees of CN Rail, have rejected a company offer and are ready to go on strike. CAW national president Buzz Hargrove announced the vote outcome Tuesday, in Toronto.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "The shop crafts members of our union rejected the offer by 63 per cent and the other groups rejected by 57 per cent. We notified the company around midnight last night that the membership had rejected the proposal that they had tabled, and were demanding more money. That is a key issue here."

       The company had offered three per cent increases in each year of a three year contract. Hargrove added that wages however are not the only issue.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "There are a whole lot of other issues that people are mad about; such as management attitudes, a lot of discipline taking place, a lot of shift schedules, weekend work, a lot of things that have taken place that have angered people beyond belief. And remember with the downsizing, most of these people are long service people."

       Abe Rosner, CAW national rep. on the bargaining team said the members are very upset with CN management for reneging on their restructuring promises.

Abe Rosner
CAW National Rep.

       "They have said we are ready to walk. And we are ready to try and make good on the promises that were made in the 1990's, "that if you survived the cuts, if you survived the reductions then there is going to be some prosperity and some security in the future." They saw the cuts, they made the sacrifices but part two hasn't come into being."

       On February 18th, the union and CN are meeting with the Federal Minister of Transportation regarding the Friday 12:01 a.m. strike deadline. Hargrove has one simple message for the government.



Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Stay out of this! This is a dispute between us and CN. There are all kinds of opportunities for commerce to use other means such as Canadian Pacific Railways or trucking. We've shut down just one company. Historically the government has ordered people back to work. There's absolutely no debate or no reason for that here today. There is no argument that should support them interfering here."

       Hargrove added that grain shipments and shipments from the north may be exempted from the strike action.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Initially the grain farmers will be excluded and we are also looking at other areas of the country where the only possible way for them to get their products to market is CN Rail, some of the northern parts of the country and others. We don't want to unduly harm people who use the railway but we really want to get the pressure on the railway and to do that we have to, in some manner, put the pressure on the customers."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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