CN, union fail to reach settlement
Canadian National Railway said management officers are ready to perform the work of striking United Transportation Union (UTU) employees in Canada who engage in rotating strikes against the company.
CN announced its contingency plan following overwhelming rejection by conductors and yard workers on Tuesday of a tentative one-year settlement agreement with the company.
UTU leadership informed the company last week that it planned to launch renewed strike action against CN, including rotating strikes, if the membership failed to ratify the agreement.
UTU members in Canada have been on strike at CN since Feb. 10, but suspended strike action and returned to work during the ratification process for the tentative settlement, which was signed by the company and union on Feb. 24.
The UTU represents 2,800 conductors and yard service employees at CN in Canada.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer, said the railroad “will work hard to maintain service for its customers during renewed labor disruption by the UTU. But our customers must appreciate the fact that CN service levels may be affected by the frequency, location and severity of the UTU’s rotating work actions.”
The strike could aggravate congestion problems at the port of Vancouver where the flow of traffic has been hobbled by the strike, bad winter weather and several railway derailments this spring.