CN Layoffs

October 22, 1998


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CN Layoffs
CN Layoffs
dated October 22, 1998 

CN Layoffs

CN latest move to slash 3,000 jobs will endanger people and communities across Canada

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President



"Absolutely, it's a threat to the community. We've had all kinds of trains going off the tracks, derailments all over the country, a big increase since they privatized CN. I believe a lot of it is attributable to the cutbacks they had, and you're going to see more, if this is allowed to stand."


 


Of the 3,000 jobs being cut, 1,000 involve members of the CAW. Buzz Hargrove says he was blind-sided.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"Absolutely! A total surprise. Firstly, they never notified us, I heard from a reporter at 5:30 yesterday afternoon that 3,000 people were laid off at CN. I am just furious about it. I worked last night doing media calls, and in the office. We sent a fax to Mr. Tellier demanding that he rescind these layoffs, and meet with us and talk about alternatives."

CN has seen its profits climb steadily from a 124 million dollar profit in 1996 and to a 674 million profit in the first three quarter of this year. In the process they have cut 14,000 jobs. Hargrove says the latest cuts are unjustified and dangerous.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"This is about greed, this is about some sharp pencil guy coming up and saying look, we can dump a lot of work, we can gamble on whether or not we have an accident, if poorly maintained cars and locomotives, and we simply pay for the cost of the accident, as opposed to keeping people working to ensure we don't have accidents. This is, to me, it's just infuriating to think that everything now becomes a cost-benefit analysis as opposed to preventative maintenance and treating workers properly."

The job cuts come in the wake of the union signing a new contract with CN, a contract signed under assurances there would be job increases, not cut backs.






Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"They told us then, they respected the sacrifice our members have made. They cut over forty percent of CAW members, and other unions have been impacted as well. A lot of people have suffered greatly and the restructure is over. Mr. Tellier said it's over, we're now moving to a merger to finalize it with Illinois Central, we're going to have this great north-south corridor, we're going to have all kinds of new opportunities for business that should be positive, there should be new opportunities for new hire. And, all of a sudden with no notice, 3,000 people, over a thousand of them are CAW members, with no justification."


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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