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IBEW ratifies labour contract with CN
Published: January 7, 2008
Source: Canadian Press
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MONTREAL - CN Railway (TSX:CNR) is looking forward to several years of labour peace after members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union ratified a five-year collective agreement at the railway's Canadian operations.

The agreement, providing improved wages and benefits, affects about 700 workers who maintain Canadian National Railway's signals and communication systems in Canada.

Workers will see wage increases of three per cent annually between 2008 and 2010, and four per cent in 2011 and 2012. They will also receive $1,000 lump-sum bonuses within 30 days of ratification and again on Jan. 1, 2012.

The new deal, effective Jan. 1, replaces a four-year contract that expired Dec. 31.

CN said Monday the contract resulted from good communications and a commitment by both sides to resolve issues early through regular meetings.

"We believe this agreement benefits both CN and the IBEW membership and reflects the foundation of a solid relationship," stated Kim Madigan, CN vice-president of labour relations.

Union leader Brian Strong said the new agreement provides five years of stability for members and helps to improve its members' quality of life.

"We believe that CN's commitment to continue regular meetings and communications with the union to resolve outstanding issues will strengthen our relationship," he stated.

The railway is still awaiting ratification of a tentative agreement achieved last November with about 3,000 members of the United Steelworkers of America who maintain CN railway infrastructure in Canada. The USWA deal is the last outstanding collective agreement needed to guarantee labour peace for the next few years.

Last year, 2,800 conductors and yard workers from the United Transportation Union were on strike for 15 days. An arbitrator subsequently imposed a three-year agreement that favoured the railway's proposal.

That collective agreement increased wages by three per cent each year of the contract, which will be in effect until July 22, 2010.

On the Toronto stock market Monday afternoon, Canadian National shares were up three cents at $46.30.


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