CN, union at loggerheads on wages, conditions as strike enters third day

Canadian National Railway Co. says it has gone the extra mile to meet union demands amid a strike by signal and electrical workers, who say the concessions do not go far enough.

About 750 CN employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers walked off the job across the country Saturday morning.

In an open letter to employees, CN chief operating officer Rob Reilly says the railway “met or exceeded every one of the union’s demands,” including a 10 per cent wage hike over three years and better schedules ensuring two consecutive days off.

Union negotiator Steve Martin says in an interview that the claim is technically accurate but “misleading,” with offers to improve conditions and compensation amounting to small increases.

CN says operations remain uninterrupted under its contingency plan. It continues to encourage the union to end the strike through an agreement or binding arbitration.

Martin says the union is unwilling to consider arbitration at the moment, but that it filed a counter-offer Sunday afternoon and remains in contact with the company.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2022.

More from 620 CKRM