CN Rail strike over

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
CN Rail strike over
Photo of the CN Rail yard. Wikimedia Commons photo.

CANADA – CN Rail has reached a tentative agreement with the Teamsters Canadian Rail Conference – Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons union.

The announcement of the deal was made on Tuesday, Nov. 26 and ended a strike that was causing propane shortages and other economic woes across the country.

The union began their strike last week on Nov. 19. Their main issues with their employer were fatigue, workplace safety and a lifetime cap on benefits.

The 3,200 striking rail workers and conductors are expected to be back on the job by 2 p.m. on Tuesday. No strike action will take place while the vote on the agreement is being undertaken by the union. The deal is expected to be ratified within eight weeks.

“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.”

The strike negatively affected farmers, including those in SD&G, due to CN’s key role in the transportation of propane. With the winter months coming, CN announced that during the strike, it would not be delivering any propane. This meant that farmers were unable to dry their corn in many cases, with local distributors, such as MacEwen’s choosing to focus on supplying propane for heating residential homes.

South Glengarry Councillor and farmer Martin Lang explained the difficulties being faced by farmers in an interview with Seaway News.

“This season’s been wetter than usual, so we are already using more propane than normal,” Lang told Seaway News during the strike.

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