CN Engineers on Strike, Talks break Down
Talks between the Canadian Teamsters Union and Canadian National Railways (CNR) broke down at midnight and the Locomotive Engineers of CNR are now on strike.
The union says that the talks broke down over their collective bargaining agreement. Management of CNR has requested arbitration but the union has not agreed to let an arbitrator settle this.
The union last went on strike last summer and that strike was settled by an arbitrator. The union does not want to engage in binding arbitration as it may affect their collective bargaining agreement.
The strike will not affect passenger rail in the Montreal/Toronto area.
The strike will affect freight, which will now have to be carried by trucks. Farmers who have agreements to deliver grain for shipment to the West coast will also be affected.
The union was not able to tell how long this strike would last.
TORONTO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Locomotive engineers at Canada's largest railway walked off the job on Saturday after talks broke down, but Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO) (CNI.N) said it was using management and non-union staff to provide "the best possible service under the circumstances."
CN spokesman Mark Hallman said the strike started overnight after the breakdown of talks with the Teamsters Union. "We have deployed our contingency plan," he said.
Dan Shewchuk from the Teamsters Union could not say how long the strike might last.
The union also said said commuter train services in the Montreal area would not be affected.