Northeastern System Fed members strike on the D&H

Published: May 13 2016 11:20AM

Northeastern System Fed members strike on the D&H

Action a success: CP agrees to make correction to paychecks

Brothers and Sisters on the BMWED Northeastern System Federation conducted a successful strike action March 7, 2016 in response to unaddressed payroll issues on the Canadian Pacific's Delaware & Hudson Railway.

The strike began at 6 a.m. and caught CP by surprise. By 2 p.m., NESF General Chairman Dale Bogart called an end to the walkout after railroad management agreed to a meeting and the 80-plus members of the D&H returned to work.

The meeting between CP and BMWED officials occurred the following week, where Brother Bogart said the railroad set up more consistent protocol to address payroll issues and dedicated at least three payroll employees to resolve future problems. Correction checks to employees have begun, Brother Bogart said.

BMWED members on the D&H were having issues with their paychecks going back to last year. Those problems included shortages on hours worked, accuracies in payment at the correct hourly rates, being paid incorrectly or not at all for holidays and vacations, and having health insurance and supplemental sickness benefits deprived while on medical leave of furlough.

Brother Bogart said repeated attempts to rectify these shortchanges were disregarded by CP until the strike on March 7. He said if CP had responded to a letter sent from BMWED to the railroad on Feb. 9 asking to meet and correct employee payroll problems, a strike action would not have been necessary.

"As a result of our strike, CP is finally starting to take this issue seriously," Brother Bogart said. He added that the railroad has begun the process of cutting checks to members  for missed payments. "No one wants to strike, but at some point, when you're not getting paid, you're forced to take a stand."

Brother Bogart said the quick resolution was ideal and the successfulness of the strike was a team effort.

"At the end of the day, what I think the moral of the story is, when we organize and when we stick together as one, we get the respect we deserve," Bogart said.

BMWED President Freddie Simpson agreed. "I'm proud of our Brothers and Sisters on the D&H. Going on strike is a last resort. It takes courage to stand up to your employer and these members on the Northeastern System Federation did just that. I'm encouraged by their success and the result they achieved. Their strike is proof that we are strongest when we stick together."