MONTREAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA — Canadian National (CN) and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) reached a tentative agreement to renew the collective agreement for over 3,200 CN conductors, trainpersons and yard workers.
On Nov. 19, the workers went on strike due to failed negotiations between CN and TCRC, fighting for better rail safety and prescription drug benefits.
The new tentative agreement allowed for CN employees to return to work at 2:00 p.m. local times Nov. 26, and yard assignments will start at 6:00 a.m. local times Nov. 27 and there will be no job action during the ratification period.
“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 (CEO) 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.”
According to TCRC, the tentative agreement must now be ratified by Teamster members via confidential ballot electronic voting. Before the voting period opens, union meetings will be held across the country to explain the terms of the agreement to members.
Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until the members have had a chance to review the document first. The results of the ratification votes are expected within eight weeks.
“I am pleased to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement with CN,” said François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada. “I would like to thank our members for their incredible courage and solidarity. I would also like to thank all the Teamster local unions from across different industries, all the labor organizations and members of the public who supported us on the picket line.”
Teamsters represent 125,000 members in Canada in all industries, including 16,000 workers in the rail industry. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.