CN reaches tentative labour deal with engineers

(Photo courtesy CN)

Canadian National Railway’s (CN) 1,800-odd locomotive engineers will remain on the job until April at least, after tentatively agreeing to a new three-year labour deal with the company.

The agreement, reached Saturday, now goes to a ratification vote for the unionized engineers, represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC).

Vote results are expected to be announced by mid-April, CN said in a release.

Details of the tentative settlement won’t be made public until ratification, CN and the union said.

Particulars of the deal will go to the membership “as soon as possible” for review, TCRC said in a separate release.

The previous three-year collective agreement between CN and its TCRC-represented engineers expired Dec. 31. No strike vote was taken, but the union recently warned of a possible strike or lockout after Feb. 15 after conciliation talks ended last month without a deal.

CN is also now in talks for a new deal with employees represented by Unifor, whose contract with the railway also expired Dec. 31. Unifor-represented staff have also not yet taken a strike vote.

A deal between CN and its TCRC-represented engineers comes as TCRC-represented conductors, engineers, yardmen and trainmen at Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) prepare for a midnight deadline before heading out on strike.

TCRC president Douglas Finnson on Saturday afternoon advised CP staff that “we do not have a negotiated agreement in place at this time, and therefore we have no alternative but announce to our membership they should prepare themselves for the midnight deadline.”

The TCRC, in its statement, said it “will continue to negotiate (with CP) throughout the evening to work towards a fair settlement, and will not walk away from the negotiations table.”

Unifor-represented inspection, maintenance and repair at CP, who’ve also served notice to strike starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, said Saturday they would provide an update on the status of talks at 8 p.m. ET. — Network

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