The agreement also defines shiftwork periods, calls for an 8% wage increase during the three-year agreement and makes some changes to employees` health and social security plans. Canadian National (NYSE: CNI) and members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) have voted to ratify a new three-year collective agreement, the groups said. “We are pleased to have reached these agreements,” JJ Ruest, CEO of Canadian National (CN), said in a statement late Friday. CN did not contain any details about the collective agreement. “Previously, Ottawa routinely violated the right of rail workers to strike. But this government has remained calm and focused on helping the parties reach an agreement and it has worked,” said François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. One of the provisions of the agreement calls on CN to abandon what the TCRC has called the “Work Now Grieve Later” policy. Instead of asking employees to work beyond a 10-hour limit, employees can now book rest periods, TCRC said. The new collective agreement, which runs until July 22, 2022, focuses on safety issues, with a particular focus on crew fatigue and work schedules, according to the Teamsters.
But the Canadian government will have to address rail industry fatigue in future regulations, said TCRC President Lyndon Isaak. In the Teamsters` vote on the deal, 91.3% voted in favour. The group represents about 3,200 workers who work as pilots, shipyard workers and training for CN. Members led an eight-day strike last November after initial negotiations broke down. If CN asks employees, including flight attendants, shipyard workers and conveyors, to work until they rest, those employees must receive additional compensation. “We have been able to get CN to adapt some of its practices in the interest of safety. But.. the problem of fatigue is far from solved,” Isaak said. The Teamsters thanked Labour Minister Filomena Tassi, Transport Minister Marc Gareau and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for their commitment.
The Teamsters said it was not able to eliminate the lifetime cap on health and wellness payments. That problem could arise again in the next round of negotiations if the federal government doesn`t implement a universal pharmaceutical program, the Teamsters said. .