A strike by CN locomotive engineers belonging to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) that began on Nov. 28 has ended following an agreement to resolve contractual disagreements through further negotiations and, if necessary, binding arbitration.
CN and the TCRC have agreed to continue negotiations to resolve issues related to wages, benefit,s and work rules. If there is no agreement, the wages and benefits offers from both will be subject to final, binding arbitration. CN and TCRC can also agree to submit work rule issues to binding arbitration, but only if they mutually agree on the ones that should be subject to arbitration. If there is no agreement, the issues in dispute will not be subject to arbitration.
CN has agreed to roll back the monthly mileage cap for locomotive engineers to 3,800 miles from the 4,300-mile cap initiated Nov. 28, and withdraw its plan to apply a 1.5% wage increase to TCRC members. The union's current contract expired on Dec. 31, 2008.
“CN is pleased that an agreement has been reached to end the strike by the TCRC immediately and to move forward with a process that gives the parties flexibility to negotiate issues further, but also ensures finality through binding arbitration of issues that remain in dispute,” said President and CEO E. Hunter Harrison. “We have always sought, since starting negotiations 14 months ago, to achieve a settlement with the TCRC through negotiations or binding arbitration. I also thank the many CN employees who have stepped forward during the unfortunate labor dispute to keep the company’s freight operations going. Keeping our trains running has been important to our customers and indeed the entire Canadian economy.”