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2/20/2004



Rail News: Labor

Canadian Auto Workers launch CN strike after negotiation stalemate



After 36 hours of 11th hour negotiations proved fruitless, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) members began striking Canadian National Railway Co. at 12 a.m. this morning.

CN then activated its contingency plan to maintain normal freight schedules under which management staff perform the duties of the 5,000 shopcraft, clerical and intermodal yard workers represented by CAW. CN advised shippers to expect some delays.

CN and CAW officials, and a federal mediator tried to negotiate new agreements Feb. 18 and 19, but the parties couldn't agree on terms. About a week ago, CAW rejected tentative agreements reached last month with CN. Previous contracts expired Dec. 31, 2003.

"CN has no plans at this time for further discussions with the CAW," railroad officials said in a prepared statement.


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