CAW Leadership at CN Endorse Tentative Agreement
January 16, 2007
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"All those in favour of the 2007 collective agreement please rise. Thank you very much. Those who are opposed. None. Unanimous. Thank you very much and well done brothers and sisters - well done."
The Canadian Auto Workers union leadership at CN Rail endorsed a new 4 year collective agreement with the company. It will now go to the membership across Canada for ratification.
Speaking to the leadership in Toronto January 16th, CAW national president Buzz Hargrove credited the solidarity of the members in the 2004 strike with changing the way CN bargained with the union.
CAW national president
"It has always been my experience that if you can set a strike deadline and work towards a deadline and force the company to deal with your issues you can do a lot better in bargaining and I believe we have proved that."
"I can tell you, without fear of contradiction that we got an excellent collective agreement here, all aspects of the agreement, and it gives me a great deal of pride to have been here and to join with your bargaining committee in recommending to the leadership that you endorse the 2006/2007 collective bargaining agreement."
The agreement includes wage increases of 3 per cent each year for three years and 4 per cent in the fourth year, along with a $1,000 signing bonus and a new $700 a year Health Care Spending Account. Bob Chernecki, assistant to the national president, termed the new benefit a major step forward.
Assistant to CAW national president
"This is something that is absolutely critical for the future of this membership, because you can build on $700 in every round of bargaining."
"You can build on it for the future and I would say if there is a corner stone of principle, anywhere in any union for your members, it's benefits for retirees."
The leadership will now take the agreement to the 4,000 shopcraft, clerical, supplemental and owner-operator members at CN facilities across Canada.
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."