Southern Railway employees receive lockout notice on New Year's Eve, according to CUPE

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      The Canadian Union of Public Employees says 126 rail-yard workers have received 72-hour lockout notice from their employer.

      Southern Railway of British Columbia issued this after CUPE Local 7000 members rejected the company's final offer with a 91 percent "no" vote.

      The lockout will take effect at 11:05 a.m. on Saturday (January 3).

      "We had hoped to reach a fair and reasonable contract through negotiations at the bargaining table but the company has steadfastly refused to address our concerns, repeatedly tabling concessionary packages," CUPE Local 7000 president Bill Magri said in a news release. "Southern Railway's refusal to bargain is why our members on November 22 voted 98 per cent in favour of job action."

      Southern Railway has 29 locomotives and 700 railcars and is part of the Washington Companies, which include Seaspan Corporation. The railway is the major freight transporter in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, which almost half the traffic originating or terminating at Annacis Island.

      It says on its website that it has more than 150 shippers of automobile, forest, building, agricultural, chemical, consumer, and steel products.

      Federally regulated companies, including railways, are permitted under federal law to use replacement workers—something that's illegal for provincially regulated entites.

      Magri pointed out in the news release that diverting work from a bargaining unit is not allowed under the B.C. Labour Relations Code

      "During the lockout, we are not only asking customers and others to respect picket lines," Magri stated. "We will also be seeking the support of the Teamsters, Longshoremen, Marine Workers, Grain Workers, UNIFOR, United Steelworkers, and any other affected union whose members are asked to transport 'hot' goods."



      I See Propaganda

      Jan 1, 2015 at 8:25pm

      Nice ad for Union solidarity but what was the rejected offer? That is relevant information for anyone not conditioned to support unions or management as stimulus response.

      stop corporate greed

      Jan 1, 2015 at 10:54pm

      Interesting how collective bargaining and attempting to reach a fair and reasonable contract through negotiations is seen as an affront to some sort of freedom . This world surely is propagandized by the greedy and ignorant corporation to serve themselves and condition others .


      Jan 2, 2015 at 1:12pm

      "The railway is the major freight transporter in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, which almost half the traffic originating or terminating at Annacis Island."

      That's a mighty impressive trestle bridge. Any guesses where on Southern's LM+FV route it might be? If so, I want to check it out.

      Fair Enough

      Jan 2, 2015 at 3:11pm

      I guess the unions expect the public to just sit back and support their strike even though most union members make much better wages than the general public. AND the public will now pay more for goods in the short term just so the highly paid union members can make even more money. Sorry, I don't see anything in this for the general public, therefore, no reason to support the union making more money while not caring about the public.
      And yes, it is wrong to publish an article implying that everything is the fault of the railroad company when there is no mention of what the union members voted against. My guess is that most real working people would love to have whatever it is that the union doesn't want. Time for the unions to get a grip on reality and talk to their neighbors.
      Before you blast me as a corporate shill, you should know that i could care less about this company or any other. And I ask anyone from this union to post the average wage of their members. Then the public will really not care about your strike.

      Mr. Bill

      Jan 2, 2015 at 5:15pm

      The company locked the membership out, it's not a strike. From my understanding the offer was all concessions. I find it funny when people go after the union, instead of asking why do they have that in regards to aspects of a collective agreement ( an agreement done between the company and the union ), why not ask why they themselves don't have it. You can thank unions for a 5 day work week and a wide variety of things that people have today in the workplace.

      Think about it

      Jan 2, 2015 at 9:21pm

      Just because you are okay with making minimum wage without fightiNg for better wages or benefits doesn't mean the people of this union don't deserve what they are asking for. In actuality we all should be making more than we are aNd deserve benefits. This dispute is all about the Washington family (an American company) making more money and taking benefits from the younger generations. The contract is all about new hires not about the current employees. They are making a stand for the next generation of workers and we all should be doing the same.

      somthings not right here

      Jan 4, 2015 at 6:38pm

      i was told by one of the union guys hes happy making 36 Dollars an hour ( on top of a bunch of premiums , he still gets to keep his post retirement ,pension and is getting a raise on the offer. But Cupee told them to vote NO because it would protect their sky train workers upcoming contract.

      Mr. Bill

      Jan 5, 2015 at 4:48am

      Somthings not right here, you must have been talking to a manager ! I know for a fact that the refusal has nothing to do with Skytrain, they share a local with Skytrain, not a collective agreement. If I had to work outside in monsoon's, shift changes at last minute,multiple start times in a week, and an employer who changed their employee's medical insurance carrier without telling them for a week because ooppss "we forgot" I would want to make $36 an hour too

      supporter of union employees

      Jan 5, 2015 at 11:50am

      I agree with Mr. Bill, the refusal has nothing to do with Skytrain. These union employees are hard working individuals who do not make big wages for the work and responsibility they have working the railways lines. Once again it is the Companies that are trying to take away benefits for new hires, if anyone knows where I can see the year end financial statements for SRY, please let me know, I would also love to see the renumeration and benefits for the company management team. Also the City of New Wesminster and surrounding cities should be concerned that the management are going to run the trains, how up to date are they with mechanical concerns, we don't want trains derailments.