United Transportation Union

United Transportation Union

August 30, 2005 14:01 ET

Railway Union Calls for Public Inquiry

Attention: Transportation Editor OTTAWA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 30, 2005) - Following another two derailments at CN since last Thursday, the United Transportation Union is calling for a public inquiry into the safety and operating practices of Canadian National, says Tim Secord, Canadian Legislative Director for the United Transportation Union.

"Our members expect the rail they travel over and the equipment they use to be safe for use," said Secord. "The continuing decline in safety at CN is an ongoing symptom of an ailing Company that was privatised by the Canadian Government 10 years ago at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. Reductions in employees and changes to inspections, standards, policies, practices, guidelines and rules, coupled with a regulatory environment that does not exercise a very high level of oversight or enforcement is the recipe for this (and future) disasters," Secord says.

We are working closely with other unions like the Steelworkers to call for a public inquiry to find out why Canadian National is allowed to seemingly operate in a manner that threatens the health, safety and environment of our members, the public, the environment, and the communities through which it operates.

"The only surprise to any of the recent spate of derailments has been that it has taken this long to occur, and that no one has been killed," said Secord. "The public interest and safety is at stake and on behalf of the employees we represent, we are calling on the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Environment to help get to the bottom of what appears to be a systemic problem that threatens employee safety and the environment as well. Some accountability would go a long way in gaining the public trust," he said.

The United Transportation Union represents 3,500 railway operating employees working at Canadian National Railways.

-30- IN: ENVIRONMENT, LABOUR, TRANSPORT

Contact Information

  • Tim Secord, Canadian Legislative Director, United Transportation Union
    Primary Phone: 613-747-7979
    Secondary Phone: 613-866-2588
    E-mail: tim-secord@rogers.com