At risk of adding to already problematic rail transportation issues, the Canadian National Railway Co. (CN) said last week the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Conductors, Trainpersons & Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY), which represents approximately 3,000 CN train and yard operation employees in Canada, had given the company 72 hours' notice of its intention to strike the railway on Feb. 8. After CN executive vice president and chief operating officer Jim Vena said yesterday the company would "return to the table today with the assistance of federal mediators," CN announced today that it had reached a new tentative collective agreement with TCRC-CTY, thus averting the threatened union strike.
Many were concerned that the strike would put additional strain on grain transportation as winter weather and competition from oil companies have already been causing significant issues this year. Vena said, "This will ensure continued service to our customers in a very challenging environment where extreme winter conditions have hampered CN operations and affected service levels." Details of the three-year labor contract are being withheld pending ratification.