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Rail News: Labor

CN implements contingency plan in wake of UTU-Canada strike mandate

Canadian National Railway Co. is bracing for a strike by United Transportation Union (UTU)-represented workers in Canada. Today, the Class I will implement a strike contingency plan to maintain freight operations if UTU-Canada launches a strike on Saturday as planned.

The railroad and union, which represents about 2,800 of CN’s Canadian conductors and yard workers, have been trying to negotiate a new labor agreement. The previous three-year contract expired on Dec. 31.

“CN and the UTU remain in negotiations, and we believe there is time to reach a new collective agreement before the strike deadline,” said CN President and Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison in a prepared statement. “But … we will continue freight operations across Canada during a UTU strike, with management personnel performing UTU-represented jobs.”

CN and UTU-Canada officials agreed to maintain normal commuter-rail operations on CN lines in Toronto and Montreal if a strike occurs. The strike wouldn’t affect UTU-represented workers at CN’s Northern Quebec Internal Short Line, Algoma Central Railway and Mackenzie Northern Railway. However, the UTU International has not authorized a UTU-Canada strike against CN or any other Canadian property at this time, officials at the union's headquarters said.

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More News from 2/7/2007