CN Strike For Fair Deal

Brampton, Ontario

February 20, 2004

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CN Strike For Fair Deal
CN Strike For Fair Deal
dated February 20, 2004

Brampton, Ontario
February 20, 2004
       The almost 5,000 CAW union members took their fight with Canadian National Railway to the picket line at 12:01 a.m., Friday, February 20th across Canada after a last ditch effort to find a solution to the contract dispute failed.
       Bob Fitzgerald, regional bargaining rep. for National Council 4000 said the fight is not just about wages.

Bob Fitzgerald
Regional Bargaining Rep. Council 4000

       "This strike today is about working people who want their share of the revenues that Canadian National railways made. This is about people who wanted to be treated like employees who have made this company a billion dollars this year."

       As the pickets went up at the CN Intermodal yard in Brampton, Ontario, there was quiet determination on the line. Kelly Royal, a yard worker, and Joan Cristensan, the local chair, said it's not just about wages.

Kelly Royal
Intermodal Yard Worker
CAW Council 4000

       "Everybody is affected differently. Everybody has their own reasons for this. It just wasn't a very attractive contract."

Joan Cristensan
Intermodal Local Chair
CAW Council 4000

       "Right up until yesterday we had managers threatening employees." You know if you don't come upstairs you are going to suffer the consequences." That's a direct quote from a manager. So we are pretty sick about it here and it's about time they started treating their employees with some respect because the employees are making the money for the company."

Toronto, Ontario
February 20, 2004
       Meanwhile, over at the MacMillan yards, apprentice Marie Rondeau was on the picket line for the first time.

Marie Rondeau
Shop Craft Apprentice
CAW Local 100

       "It's my future. It's where I want to be and I want everything to be good. I'm worried about the part time and the 12 hour shifts and the possibility for the weekends and I don't want that stuff on the agreement."

       For many workers there was a feeling that the company was trying to roll back the clock. Joan Elliott works at the CN Administration offices in downtown Toronto.

Joan Elliott
CAW Council 4000

       "Previous union members and union people who were representing us, they fought for a lot of stuff in the past and got it, and now the company is looking to roll it back. It's not a good thing, I don't think and I think that's the reason people voted "no" for the contract."

       The CAW is the largest union in CN, representing a diverse workforce from shopcraft workers who repair, maintain and do safety checks on the rolling stock to the intermodal workers, to the customer service and clerical employees. Despite the fact that CN has brought in managers to do their work, the CAW members say they will fight for as long as it takes to win a fair contract and respect.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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