Montreal, Canada-based Class I railway Canadian National (CN) plans to hire 600 new conductors and crew members to make up for higher-than-expected layoffs and strong North American freight demand, according to a report from The Financial Post.
CN Railways plans to have 250 new crew members hired and trained by the end of the year.
Canadian National (CN) Railway is looking to hire 600 conductors and crew members, particularly in Western Canada, due to higher-than-expected layoff numbers and a lengthy idle period, according to a report from The Financial Post.
The lack of crew members combined with increased demand in North america has impacted train speed, said The Financial Post. In early 2016, CN said that it’s workforce had decreased by 9 percent or 2,300 in 2015, with about 1,150 employees laid off by the end of the year.
“Operating crews have proven to be our biggest challenge,” CN Chief Operating Officer Mike Cory said during a conference call about third-quarter financial results. “Fluidity of trains and resulting operating profits are impossible without the appropriate staffing.”
He noted that hiring will occur mostly in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
“What we’re doing now is really catching up in some areas where we got a little surprised by the return rate from people laid off,” said Cory.
CN expects to have 250 people hired and trained in the fourth quarter and another 400 in the first quarter of 2018, the conference call revealed. The railway had on average 23,183 employees at the end of the third quarter, including 16,346 in Canada and 7,082 in the United States, said The Financial Post.
Despite a slight drop in net income, CN’s latest financial statements showed improvement in volumes and revenues the third quarter of 2017, with most individual commodities revenues increasing for the Montreal-based Class I railroad.