CN completed the merger of its Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. (EJ&E) and Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WC) subsidiaries yesterday.
The merger of the two affiliates that connect in the Chicago area will simplify the Class I's corporate structure and operations in the United States, and lead to operational efficiencies and service improvements, CN officials said in a prepared statement.
"These merged railroads will continue all the existing operations of WC and EJ&E in the Chicago Terminal with a unified workforce, which will permit better management of crew staffing, and more efficient and reliable rail service to customers throughout the region," said Jim Vena, senior vice president of CN's Southern Region.
The merger was authorized by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) last year and CN reached voluntary agreements with unions representing various crafts to complete the transaction. The merger will not affect or alter the STB's continuing oversight and reserved jurisdiction over CN's 2009 acquisition of the EJ&E, the mitigation conditions imposed by the board or the voluntary mitigation agreements reached with numerous communities along the EJ&E's line, CN officials said.
Meanwhile, CN also recently reached a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers System Council 11 that renews a contract covering about 700 CN signals and communications employees in Canada.
Details of the pact — which was negotiated prior to the expiration of the current contract at 2012's end — are being withheld pending ratification by union members, CN officials said. Ratification vote results are anticipated by January's end.
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