CAW CPR Leadership Unanimously Endorse Contract
January 31, 2008
Please note that you will need a copy of Windows Media Player installed on your computer in order to view the following video file(s).
The tentative agreement between CP Rail and the CAW representing 2,500 workers at CP has been unanimously endorsed by the CAW Local 101 leadership from across Canada, gathered in Toronto January 31, 2008. Local 101 President Tom Murphy said the workers made gains despite the company's demands for concessions.
Pres. CAW Local 101
"The toughest part was of course concessions and dealing with co-pays. A lot of the benefits that the company wanted to take away from us, which we managed to stave off. They had some fifty demands on the table and they ended up only with some language change that didn't affect the outcome of the agreement at all."
The three-year contract calls for a three, three and three per cent wage increase, a $1,000 signing bonus for all CP workers and a special wage adjustment of $1.79 for skilled trades which brings the skilled trades increase to over 10 per cent in the first year of the contract.
CAW National President, Buzz Hargrove praised the bargaining committee for their accomplishment.
CAW National President
"Getting rid of the 50 demands is quite an accomplishment in and of itself, but the wage increases here, I'd challenge myself this morning to think of anyone else, and other group, not just in our union but any union, who have walked away with over 16 per cent and over 9 per cent."
The leadership went over every detail of the contract including modification of skilled trade's classifications and the rejection of co-pays on healthcare. Bob Chernecki, assistant to the CAW national president said the total package benefits the workers into the future.
Assistant to National President
"It is always challenging when you make change. I think when people looked at the total package and the total agreement, and we were absolutely clear in terms of what we bargained here with the leadership, they were absolutely ecstatic at the end of it. And we got a unanimous recommendation of the over 70 top leadership from across the country."
Tom Murphy said the changes in skilled trades language will bring stability to the work place.
Pres. CAW Local 101
"The key win right now of course is the recognition of trades, the recognition of skilled work. And the outcome for the future we'll be a lot happier now that every body will be more secure. There won't be the ins and outs of people being laid off, and transferred here, there and elsewhere."
The leadership will now take the contract to ratification meetings at the 22 locations across the country. The results are expected on February 15th.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."