For immediate release
March 18, 2017
(Montreal) — The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council No. 11, which represents over 700 Signal and Communications workers at Canadian National Railway, may be facing a possible work stoppage effective 00:01 March 21, 2017. The IBEW filed a Notice to Strike with CN late in the evening yesterday.
“We were left no other choice except to file the Notice to Strike to ensure we can continue protect the rights of our members. Our efforts to negotiate a good faith fair settlement are basically stalled with time running out. It is unfortunate that we have not yet reached an agreement and now find ourselves in this position. CN has controlled the flow of negotiations and due to the looming deadline, we must take action. With a 70 percent return of ballots, our membership overwhelmingly supports the Negotiation Committee with a 99 percent Strike Mandate,” says Steve Martin Senior General Chairman of IBEW System Council No. 11.
CN filed application with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services prior to the December 31 2016 expiration of the current Collective Agreement despite only recently commencing Negotiations. The company triggered the March 20 deadline by refusing to agree with the Union to extend Conciliation. The parties have now met on 5 separate occasions for multiple days with only minimal progress being made and numerous outstanding items.
Earlier this week in a news release Steve Martin stated: “It is and has always been the Union’s position to bargain a good faith, fair settlement for our members without the necessity of time restrictions or job action. Unless there is a change in the company’s attitude and approach to negotiating a fair settlement, the Union will be forced to take strike action to move forward.”
IBEW System Council No. 11 represents the workers who install and maintain signals and trackside equipment for most of the nation’s railroads including commuter trains like the AMT in Montreal and GO transit in the Toronto area. Automatic signals and switches installed and maintained by our members allow railroads to move large numbers of freight and passenger trains at higher speed and with great safety. Our members also install and maintain the warning systems used at railroad-highway crossings, which play a vital role in ensuring the safety of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
For more information:
Senior General Chairman
IBEW System Council No. 11.