Minister of Labour responds to failed CN-teamsters contract

Minister Leitch strongly urges both parties to pursue voluntary arbitration.

After Teamsters Canada Rail Conference rejects second tentative agreement with CN, the federal minister of labour called on them to undergo voluntary arbitration.

OTTAWA, March 21, 2014—The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, expressed disappointment Friday when informed that Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members had again rejected a tentative agreement reached by the bargaining committee.

Quick facts

  • On January 31, 2014, the union announced that its membership rejected a first tentative agreement by 67% and voted in favour of strike action.
  • On February 5, 2014, Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and TCRC reached a second tentative agreement, which was rejected on March 20, 2014.
  • CN accounts for over half of Canada’s rail revenue on an annual basis.
  • CN is the largest railway company in Canada and transports approximately $250 billion worth of goods annually, including natural resources, manufactured products and consumer goods. It transports products for a wide range of business sectors across a rail network spanning Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • A work stoppage at CN would have damaging effects on our economy – negatively impacting hardworking Canadians across the country, including grain farmers in the Prairies, auto workers in Ontario, and forestry workers in Quebec.
  • The TCRC represents some 3 300 conductors and assistant conductors (road and yard), baggage persons, car retarder operators, yard operations employees, switch tenders, traffic coordinators and assistant traffic coordinators whose previous collective agreements expired on July 22, 2013.

“Our government is disappointed that Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has again rejected the tentative agreement reached by the bargaining committee,” Leitch said. “During this fragile global economic recovery, we must protect jobs and vital sectors in Canada’s economy. I urge both parties to consider the best interests of all Canadians and avoid a work stoppage by sending their outstanding issues to voluntary arbitration.

– The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women


SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada