Canada’s largest railway as managed to avoid strike action after coming to a last-minute agreement with union representatives on Monday afternoon.
“CN is very pleased to have reached this settlement,” said COO Mike Cory. “This new agreement reinforces CN’s commitment to working together with our employees and their representatives to address workplace issues in a mutually beneficial matter.”
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – which represents roughly 3,000 CN employees – had issued a 72-hour strike notice on Saturday which meant their workers would have been legally allowed to walk off the job early Tuesday morning.
The notice came after CN announced new work rules which included a two per cent wage increase but also the removal of a clause which requires the transport giant to consult with the union before making “material changes” such as terminal closures and mandatory relocations.
Teamsters claimed the rules would “permanently and irreparably impact workers” but later withdrew its strike notice after CN withdrew its notice to unilaterally impose changes to the collective agreement on the table.
“It’s always a good thing to avert a strike,” said Teamsters representative, Stephane Lacroix.
Details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification by union members, a process which expected to take about two months.