The new collective agreement expires on July 22, 2022. Negotiations continue with the help of the mediators appointed by the Confederation and we continue to work for cooperation with the union and mediators to reach a fair agreement for all parties. We have also taken appropriate steps to end the economic benefits by offering binding arbitration with a neutral arbitrator, elected by the parties or appointed by the federal government. In addition, we have proposed to continue negotiations until 1 April 2020 in order to have more time to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, TCRC-CTY management rejected these offers. “Ottawa has consistently violated the right of rail workers to strike. But this government remained calm and focused on helping the parties reach an agreement and it worked,” said François Laporte. Under the new agreement, in order to prevent the company from violating the residual provisions of the collective agreement, workers receive additional compensation if they are forced to work 30 and 60 minutes during their rest periods, including flight attendants and station employees. Following the #9 of the negotiations, we met with the company in Montreal with the assistance of four (4) federally appointed mediation officers. We have not come close to a memorandum of understanding. The problems reported in previous negotiation updates remain unchanged. The company continues to make significant changes to Conductor Only and has refused to take into account our demands for improved wages, benefits and work rules, your work-life balance. The three-year agreements, retroactive to July 23, 2019, provide for salary increases and performance improvements for some 3,200 conductors represented by the union that launched strike action in November 2019, severely hurting the Canadian economy.
At the beginning of the year, CN entered into 11 agreements with unions representing approximately 7,000 union members. In 10 of these ratified agreements, the company made annual offset adjustments that were better than inflation. These agreements have improved benefits, including short-term disability, life insurance, maternity leave, eye care and dentistry; and also included plans to buy employees` shares. The final agreement covers 1,000 independent owners/operators working for CNTL and provides for compensatory adjustments in accordance with other agreements. While the current average salary of a Canadian conductor is $114,000 plus benefits, including a defined benefit retirement plan, the union is targeting salary improvements and performance improvements that go beyond those negotiated this year with Unifor and another TCRC bargaining unit. The new treaty focuses mainly on safety, particularly with regard to crew fatigue and working time. The agreement was reached after an eight-day strike last November.