CN layoff announcements put profits over safe container rail service

November 17, 2019 – 12:00 AM

TORONTO– Unifor condemns CN’s layoff speculation at a time of high revenue.

“What we have here is a massively profitable corporation causing anxiety through public layoff announcements that, if realized, could seriously threaten working conditions and health and safety of rail workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Members of Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 have received layoff notices over the past two months that add up to the reduction of just over 200 jobs.

Unifor members at CN inspect, repair and maintain rail cars, as well as perform essential work operating equipment to load containers.

“Targeting safety-sensitive labour costs in order to squeeze out a slightly higher profit margin is the wrong move. Some cuts are not worth the risk,” said Renaud Gagne, Unifor Quebec Director.

In the company’s own third quarter report, CN announced C$3,830 million in revenue, an improved operating ratio, and an eight per cent increase in operating income, to C$1,613 million.

“CN has not fallen on hard times, but the company still chose to cast uncertainty into the homes of loyal employees in order to signal to wealthy investors that higher dividends are coming down the pipe,” continued Dias.

The union remains in communication with the company to advocate for all members, and to negate the damaging effects of these unnecessary cuts.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future