Canadian Shipper


Tenative deal reached between CN and Teamsters to end rail strike

Montreal, QC – CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference announced that a tentative agreement has been reached on behalf of 3,200 CN conductors and yard crews working on CN’s mainline and yards in Canada for a new collective agreement.

This agreement will allow for CN employees to return to work at 2:00 p.m. local times today, and yard assignments will start at 06:00 a.m. local times tomorrow morning and there will be no job action during the ratification period. The results of the ratification votes are expected within eight weeks.

The strike on Canada’s largest rail network brought to a halt much of Canada’s export commodities, everything from wheat to potash. It also raised fears of a shortage of propane in parts of country, used to heat homes, power hospital back-up generators and by farmers to dry crops after harvest.

“We want to thank our customers for their patience and support and assure them that CN is preparing to resume full rail operations as soon as possible,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer of CN. “I would also like to personally thank our employees who kept the railroad moving safely at a reduced capacity. CN and its people are committed to moving the North American economy by providing freight service that enables economic growth.”

“I would like to thank our members for their incredible courage and solidarity,” said the president of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte. “I would also like to thank all the Teamster local unions from across different industries, all the labour organizations and members of the public who supported us on the picket line.”

The union also praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for respecting workers’ right to strike. “The union would also like to acknowledge Labour Minister Filomena Tassi, Transport Minister Marc Garneau, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). They were instrumental in helping parties find common ground.

“Previous governments routinely violated workers’ right to strike when it came to the rail industry. This government remained calm and focused on helping parties reach an agreement, and it worked,” added Laporte.

Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, and Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport issued a joint statement regarding the tentative agreement, following months of difficult negotiations.

“These agreements are further evidence that when employers and organized labour work together, we get the best results for Canadians and for our economy.

“We congratulate and thank both CN and the Teamsters for staying at the table and coming to an agreement for the benefit of all Canadians. We would also like to recognize the important work of the mediators from our Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

“We wish to thank workers, industry and all Canadians for their patience during these negotiations, and look forward to the return of rail service across our country.”