Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Conservative Government set to send CN Engineers back to work

“This is more than a private dispute between CN Rail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. It has serious repercussions for the national economy at a time when Canada's recovery from the global recession is still fragile.” -- Federal Labour Minister Rona Ambrose, outlining her concerns about the weekend strike action at CN Rail and how it could have an effect on the economy.

The strike at CN Rail now in its third day, may very well be a short lived affair, that as the Federal Government introduces legislation to order the railway's engineers back to work and both parties in the dispute to binding arbitration.

The Conservatives brought in the legislation on Monday, amid fears that the ongoing dispute at CN could have serious affects on the tentative recovery of the nation's economy. Especially of concern to the government was the reliance of the Ports of Prince Rupert and Halifax on CN Rail, as the railway is the only transportation link that moves product through the two ports.

Labour Minister Rona Ambrose, was moved towards the legislation option after talks collapsed on Friday, sending the 1700 members of the Teamsters Canad Rail Conference to leave the Engines and take to the picket lines after CN arbitrarily introduced a new contract on the membership.

It is expected that the back-to-work bill will pass within days and send outstanding issues to binding arbitration.

Globe and Mail-- Ottawa tables CN back-to-work bill
National Post-- Ottawa looks for quick fix to CN strike
Vancouver Sun-- Port Metro Vancouver supports CN Rail workers’ back-to-work legislation
CBC News-- Ottawa tables CN back-to-work legislation

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