CN making contingency plans in case of rail strike

MONTREAL — While insisting it’s confident that a deal would be reached with employees, CN says it’s making plans to maintain freight operations across Canada if 2,800 conductors and yard-service employees hit the bricks this weekend.

The United Transportation Union (UTU) notified the company yesterday that it plans to strike CN’s Canadian rail operations just after midnight on Feb. 10, 2007.

“CN and the UTU remain in negotiations, and we believe there is time to reach a new collective agreement before the strike deadline,” E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer of CN said in a press release.

“But let me be clear — we will continue freight operations across Canada during a UTU strike, with management personnel performing UTU-represented jobs, and provide the best possible service. This plan is essential to our customers and the Canadian economy.”

A UTU strike will not affect other unionized employees in Canada.
CN and the UTU have agreed that in the event of a conductor’s strike, the union will maintain normal commuter rail operations on CN rail lines in Toronto and Montreal.

Excluded from a potential strike action are UTU members employed on CN’s Northern Quebec Internal Short Line, Algoma Central Railway in Ontario, and Mackenzie Northern Railway in Alberta.

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