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For efficiency purposes, CN rail traffic control operations for northern Ontario will be controlled from Edmonton, Alberta, starting in spring 2020, CN officials confirmed yesterday.
"It should be noted that this office (northern Ontario) has been in Montreal only recently, since CN constantly assesses its needs and makes decisions on an operational and continuous basis," CN officials said in a prepared statement. "Fewer than 15 employees are affected by this change."
In accordance with the labor contract in force, employees affected by the change have been notified of the change, they said.
"We are currently in discussions with the union involved in determining the needs of these relocations," CN officials added. "Employees who do not wish to be relocated will be entitled to the benefits provided for in their collective agreement."
Rail traffic controllers coordinate train movements across a given territory and protect personnel working on the tracks. CN currently has three rail traffic control centers in Canada: one in Montreal, one in Edmonton and one in Toronto.
CN's statement followed Teamsters Canada's announcement last week that CN supervisors had been telling workers that the Class I plans to move its rail traffic control center in Montreal to Edmonton and that the railroad had begun transferring positions.
Nearly all rail traffic controllers in Canada are represented by Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).
CN risks losing experienced workers since some employees may not be able to leave their communities, said TCRC President Lyndon Isaak in a press release.