March 21, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Canadian National | Francophone workers in “stress”

Canadian National |  Francophone workers in "stress"

Only the French were suppressed on the board of directors of the Canadian National (CN). Its new chief executive, Tracy Robinson, warned earlier this month that linguistic events in the eastern part of the country had repeatedly occurred on Earth for nearly two years.

Posted at 5:00 p.m.

Julian Arsenal

Julian Arsenal

Engine drivers, conductors and yardmasters are not “comfortable” enough to work in English and “stress”, “threats of disciplinary action” and “treatments can sometimes be retaliatory …” in a letter sent by Teamsters to the Canada Rail Conference Mr.Me Robinson is April 5th. Press The document came.

Photo from LinkedIn

Tracy Robinson, CEO of the Canadian National

“We know how important values, diversity, equity and additions are to CN, so it’s hard for us to understand why we still have to demand Francophone rights in 2022,” wrote union leaders Jean-Michel Hall and Alain. Gretchen.

They are concerned about linguistic imbalances in the company’s operations in Montreal, especially with the arrival of “several monolingual English-speaking employees to fill staff shortages” in the Taschero marshalling yard.

The release of this letter comes as a Canadian National Railway Company – subject to this Official Languages ​​Act – Criticized for not proposing to seat any French-speaking candidate on its 11-member board of directors.

When asked about the April 5 letter, CN “respects[ait] The Official Languages ​​Act And said he was “proud” that his employees and clients could “communicate in the official language of their choice.”

Employees to translate

As recently as February 20, a bilingual employee was accused of having to work as a translator on staff to allow a train to perform certain stunts on the country’s largest railroad, the letter alleged. Press Received. The two-page document did not provide further details on the suspicious incident.

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“Another employee mentioned [sa difficulté] He was ordered to sit at the station and call his supervisor to work in English [toutes les] Two hours, ”it said.

In addition, since the summer of 2021, there has been only one superintendent for the Eastern Canada region (Quebec and Atlantic provinces), the teamsters said. According to the union, this superintendent does not speak French.

“In our view this is a major security issue above all, even if there is no serious respect for French – speaking employees and the law in force,” MM wrote. Holly and Gretian.

How can we expect safe railway operations when the participating stakeholders are not able to communicate adequately in a single language?

Excerpt from a letter sent to the CEO of CN

Railway workers also wrote the letter Press To report such incidents.

“Recently, an employee threatened to impose disciplinary sanctions if he refused to work in English,” said one worker, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation from his employer. In another case, a company trainee sat on a locomotive and translated radio communications. ⁇

Photo by Alain Roberz, Law Press Archives

CN cars waiting in Richmond

In 2020, the Teamsters arrested then-President and CEO Jean-Jacques Roost, expressing their concerns as well as their dissatisfaction. The union specifically complained about the decline in services in French after the workforce management moved its office to Edmonton, Alberta.

“Since this incident, we have seen events multiply at breakneck speed,” said Stefan Lacroix, director of Teamster Communications in Quebec.

After a change of control at CN, the union felt the need to return to Ms.Me Robinson. A meeting between the management and the union will be held next week on this issue. The new management of the company “does not just send a wishful thinking” Mr. Lacroix is ​​expected.

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According to CN, the situation at Taschereau Yard is due to a “temporary shortage of workers”.

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    In recent years, there have been at least two French-speaking managers on the CN board.

    Source: Canadian National Railway Company