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Tentative deal reached to end CN Rail strike

Last Updated Nov 26, 2019 at 9:08 am PDT

File: A quiet McLean Rail Yard is pictured in North Vancouver, Wednesday, November 20, 2019 as CN rail workers strike outside the gates. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A tentative deal has been reached between Teamsters, CN Rail, ending a week-long strike

More than 3,000 members walked off the job last Tuesday, citing concerns about safety, working conditions, benefits

Union members say operations will resume on Wednesday at 6:00 a.m. local times

MONTREAL (NEWS 1130) – The union representing CN Rail workers says a tentative deal has been reached.

The Teamsters Union says operations will resume on Wednesday morning, at 6:00 a.m. local times.

More than 3,000 members walked off the job and have been taking part in a week-long strike since last Tuesday.

“I am pleased to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement with CN. 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 deal will now have to be ratified by the union. Members are being invited to meetings across the country before the vote is set to take place by secret ballot, a complete process the union says takes about “several months.”

The Teamsters union represents close to 125,000 workers across the country, including 16,000 rail sector workers.

The CN Rail union workers had been without a contract since Jul. 2019. They floated safety concerns, time-off provisions, and a lifetime cap on drug-insurance benefits as some of their main concerns during the strike.

One example provided by the union of unsafe conditions is that its members sometimes operate moving trains alone from outside locomotives, hanging on with one hand while working a remote control with the other.

CN disputes that the company puts its workers at risk.

Before a deal was reached, CN estimated it was operating at about 10 per cent capacity because of the strike.