Monday, November 30, 2009

CN engineers strike, government may force back to work

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All 1,700 of CN's Canada-based locomotive engineers began a strike Saturday, Nov. 28, after contract talks ended without an agreement. The strike does not involve CN engineers employed in its U.S. operations and should not affect passenger train service provided by VIA Rail Canada.

If the two sides can't come to an agreement, the federal government will force striking rail workers to return by introducing back-to-work legislation.

Wages and the number of kilometers engineers can drive each month are believed to be among the issues dividing the two sides. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference union said it was willing to let binding arbitration settle a dispute over wages, once the two sides settle the other outstanding issues. CN officials rejected the offer because it would not immediately end the strike.

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