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SMART Transportation Division-represented conductors and trainmen at CN/Illinois Central have ratified a new six-year agreement.The pact provides six annual wage increases retroactive to Aug. 1, 2010, and totaling 18.6 percent, with the final wage hike to take effect Jan. 1, 2015. The cumulative wage increase over the contract's life is 20.08 percent, according to the union.The pact also improves certain benefits, establishes regular assignments after four consecutive days of similar-type work, and provides for six-and-two and four-and-two work rest cycles, with local negotiations concerning eleven-and-three work rest cycles."The work rest cycles are, six days of work followed by two days of rest, and four days of work followed by two days of rest, in a 14-day period," said Smart Transportation Division Vice President Dave Wier in a press release.Meanwhile, CN also has reached a tentative four-year agreement with United Steelworkers Local 2004, which represents 3,000 of the Class I's workers in Canada who inspect, maintain and repair track, bridges and other infrastructure. The current agreement expires Dec. 31.Although contract details weren't released pending a ratification vote, the pact includes improvements on such key issues as working and living standards, union officials said in a press release. The ratification process is expected to last several weeks.
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