Ottawa, June, 18th 2022 – On June 15th, 2022 System Council No. 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) served Canadian National Railway (CN) with the required 72 hours notice of intent to strike. With no negotiated settlement between the parties, the Union will be on strike today, Saturday June 18th at 11:00 AM EDT.
Although no agreement was achieved on the final day of mediation, there are no new dates for negotiation scheduled at this time. The Union will continue to cooperate with the Federal Mediator(s) and remains open to further discussion as a work stoppage now seems inevitable.
Steve Martin, Senior General Chairman for System Council No. 11 of the IBEW stated, “The Union’s negotiating committee has worked tirelessly over the past 8 months to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement for our members. It is unfortunate that CN has refused our most recent offer leaving us with only one option with hopes of achieving a negotiated settlement, that is to remove our services.” The Senior General Chairman’s comments are echoed by the Union’s members, who voted resoundingly in favour of giving their Bargaining Committee a strike mandate earlier this month.
The Union entered into bargaining last fall with a proposal for reasonable benefit and wage increases along with amendments to existing work rules. The Union proposal has held firm even though the proposal has been outpaced by an unprecedented rate of inflation. The increases allowed for a balanced increase over each year of the contract that would keep pace with other CN bargaining units and the rest of the industry. The Company has flatly rejected this common sense approach to bargaining.
CN has refused the Union’s request for a fair and reasonable wage increase over a span of 3 years. This is despite the Union compromising on many Union issues, and even acquiescing to Company demands to increase the amount of inter-provincial travel and the time a member spends away from their home and family.
System Council No. 11 represents over 750 Signal and Communications (S&C) employees at CN Rail. These workers were deemed essential workers and worked tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic without any additional benefits.
Senior General Chairman
IBEW System Council No. 11