October 30, 2014

DM&IR, DW&P merged into Wisconsin Central

Canadian National has completed the merger of Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway and Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific Railway into its Wisconsin Central subsidiary.

CN said the merger, approved by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board, will make operations more efficient and customer focused.

In October, in preparation for the merger, UTU represented conductors and brakemen employed by the three CN subsidiaries ratified an implementing agreement consolidating the three properties under a single agreement.

That new agreement provides for four stand-alone general committees under the jurisdiction of one general committee – with General Chairpersons Matt Koski (DW&P, GO 325), Steve Haus (DM&IR, GO 315) and Saint W. J. Laurent (DM&IR, GO 321) merging with General Chairperson Ken Flashberger (WC, GO 987).

“The merger reduces the administration costs associated with four general committees,” said then-UTU International Vice President John Babler, who assisted with negotiations. “The implementing agreement satisfied both New York Dock, Article 1, Section 4, merger conditions and the parties’ Railway Labor Act Section 6 notices.”

Also provided by the agreement are general wage increases, additional personal leave days, up to eight new extra board positions, a reduction in the number of years to qualify for additional weeks of vacation, a new bid rule and prior-rights zones.

Additionally, the new agreement provides terminal protection for DW&P and DM&IR trainmen, preserves no-furlough clauses on each former property, reduces call windows to four hours, guarantees consecutive days off for extra boards and pools, and establishes an order of call when the extra board is exhausted.

“General Chairpersons Flashberger, Koski, Haus and Laurent played key roles in the negotiations, each recognizing the value of a negotiated settlement, and came to the negotiations fully versed on their respective agreements,” Babler said in October. “They came prepared to make the tough choices that would best suit their members’ needs in the short-term and long-term. They also did a remarkable job holding town hall meetings to inform members about the implementing agreement,” Babler said.