CN conductors, workers approve strike action

Teamsters could go on strike as early as November 19

Canadian National Railway train near Abbotsford | Modfos/Shutterstock

What happened: Teamsters Canada Rail Conference members at Canadian National Railway have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action.

Why it matters: Around 3,000 conductors and other workers could go on strike as early as November 19.

Thousands of unionized workers at Canadian National Railway (CN) could strike as early as November 19.

Approximately 3,000 Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members voted 99.2% in favour of strike action after six months of negotiations with CN. Their collective agreement expired July 23, 2019.

“We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Canadian National in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement. To that end, we will not be bargaining in the press or discussing the sticking points publicly at this time,” stated TCRC president Lyndon Isaak in a news release issued Monday (October 28).

The announcement comes after the legally mandated dispute resolution period ended last Friday.

According to TCRC, both sides have been working with federal mediators for four months in an effort to reach a new agreement.

The next round of mediated negotiations is slated to begin November 12, one week before TCRC members can take strike action if they so choose.

"CN remains committed to working with the TCRC and is optimistic that an agreement will be reached," a CN spokesperson told BIV.

Earlier this year, the company ratified a new collective agreement with 180 rail traffic controllers represented by TCRC-Rail Canada Traffic Controllers. Earlier this month, it ratified a negotiated collective agreement with 950 truck drivers that contract with its subsidiary CNTL.