Teamsters Union now represents the majority
of workers at CNR
August 29, 2008
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Over 3,000 Canadian National conductors, trainmen, yardmen and
yardmasters have decided to join the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC)
by way of a Certification vote ordered by the Canadian Industrial
Relations Board (CIRB).
The United Transportation Union (UTU) was representing these workers
until the vote ordered by the CIRB.
The UTU, a Union on the decline for several years, was torn apart by
in-fighting and had already lost several thousand members to the
Teamsters Union. They have thus become the best option for representing
the remaining members who have been practically abandoned by their own
More than 95% of the UTU members voted in favour of joining the
Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.
TCRC President Dan Shewchuk said he was “extremely happy” with the
outcome of the voting process.
“The situation previously being experienced has favoured the employer,
to the detriment of the workers but that is now changing,” said Shewchuk.
“With this most welcome addition, the Teamsters Union will represent
over 16,000 workers in the rail industry and we are an unavoidable
collective bargaining partner for the two major rail carriers in Canada,
Canadian National and Canadian Pacific as well as the majority of the
short lines in Canada“.
Teamsters Canada President Robert Bouvier remarked that almost all
crafts in the rail industry will from now on be represented by his
“These workers have chosen us because they know that we have the
necessary resources and know-how to ensure their adequate
representation,” he emphasized. “Our leading positions in the union
movement, our active participation and our devotion to our members have
become a magnet for all those who are poorly unionized or not unionized
With the addition of these workers from CN, Teamsters Canada’s
membership has increased to 125,000 members. The Teamsters union is thus
becoming the major negotiating partner in the Canadian rail industry.
CIRB Ballot Results