Thursday, December 03, 2009

CN's engineers back on the job as binding arbitration beckons

“Shippers will be very, very relieved. There was real serious concern about the damage the strike would do if it lasted any length of time at all,”-- The reaction of Robert Ballantyne, president of the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association to the news that CN and its rail engineers were returning to negotiations ending a five day walkout.

CN Rails labour troubles will move back to the negotiation table as the railroad and its Engineers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Council reached an accommodation about the recent job action which started on Saturday.

The two sides reached an agreement on some key issues just as the Federal government was preparing to put the wheels of back to work legislation in motion to bring to an end the five day work stoppage.

The momentum push came as CN offered to drop a controversial work-rule demand and put differences over wages and benefits into binding arbitration.
The prospect of a lengthy disruption in the rail road network across Canada and into the US was raising concerns over the impact on Canada's economic recovery, locally it would have eventually resulted in lost shipments through the Port of Prince Rupert both at Ridley Terminals and at the Fairview Container Terminal, as CN provides the only rail access to those port facilities.

With the engineers back on the job, the prospect of transportation delays fades and the impact on delivery times of the Port won't become a factor with international shipping firms.

Globe and Mail-- CN, striking engineers reach deal
Vancouver Sun-- 'Good news for the country': CN Rail strike ends
CBC News-- CN reaches deal to end strike
Canadian Press-- CN strike by locomotive engineers settled as two sides reach agreement

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