CN movement back on track after strike

Canadian National Railway has recovered from the recent labour strike, saying movement is back at a regular pace.

The company announced today that shipping returned to peak levels and that it took on all customer demand during the second week of December.

“After a tough harvest due to adverse weather and an eight day labour stoppage, our railroaders have been hard at work to get movements back on track,” Allen Foster, the compnay’s vice-president of bulk, said in a news release.

The eight day strike in mid-November caused CN to operate only at approximately 10 percent of overall capacity.

Some provincial governments and producer groups had been urging the federal government to enact back-to-work legislation.

The strike caused potential propane shortages, particularly in Eastern Canada.

However, a deal between the Teamsters Canada union and CN was eventually reached, and shortly after that, workers were back on the job and the company began its recovery plan.

“Our disciplined approach to recovery after the strike has allowed CN to return to a normal pace, as did all the investments we have made in track infrastructure and new locomotives over the past two years,” Foster said.

The dispute largely centred around safety concerns and fatigue brought up by the union.

The new deal is currently being reviewed by members. It will be ratified before it becomes officially binding.

The union thanked the federal government for not enacting back-to-work legislation.

Prior to the strike, CN had reported strong grain movement. It moved 2.8 million tonnes in October, which was a record.

During the first two weeks of November, the company said it spotted 6,800 hopper cars.

Foster said the company will remain committed to delivering grain to customers as it enters the critical winter season.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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