CN, Teamsters reach deal to end strike

CN employees picket outside the company’s rail yard at North Battleford, Sask. on Nov. 25, 2019. (Canadian Cattlemen photo by Lisa Guenther)

Montreal | Reuters — Teamsters Canada and Canadian National Railway on Tuesday said they reached a tentative deal to end a strike at the country’s largest railroad that had entered its eighth day, disrupting supply chains across the country.

“We have a deal,” a CN spokesman said. The union said normal operations will resume on Wednesday morning across Canada. CN shares rose almost two per cent in morning trading.

Some 3,200 striking conductors and yard workers went on strike for eight days demanding improved working conditions, including worker rest breaks, at Canada’s largest railroad.

The longest rail strike in a decade has piled pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new government to intervene. On Monday, farmers facing propane shortages dumped wet corn in front of the prime minister’s local Quebec office and pleaded for the government to step in.

Industry figures show about half of Canada’s exports move by rail, and economists have estimated a prolonged strike could eat into economic growth.

Reporting for Reuters by Allison Lampert; additional reporting by Kelsey Johnson, writing by Steve Scherer.

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