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Over 3,000 Canadian National Railway rail workers on strike: union

WATCH ABOVE: Approximately 3,200 CN Rail workers are preparing to strike as the Canadian government meets with the company and union in an effort to avert the job action.

About 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are on strike after the union and company failed to reach a deal by the midnight deadline.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing the employees, gave the required 72-hour strike notice on the weekend.

Union spokesman Christopher Monette says they are still in talks with CN in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement and ending the labour dispute as soon as possible.

The union has said passenger rail services in the country’s three biggest cities would not be affected by the strike.

READ MORE: Government meets with CN Rail, union in effort to avert strike

It represents workers at commuter rail services including Go Transit in Toronto, Exo in Montreal and the West Coast Express in Vancouver, where passengers would remain unaffected.

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The workers, who have been without a contract since July 23, say they’re concerned about long hours, fatigue and what they consider dangerous working conditions.

The dispute comes as CN confirmed Friday that it was cutting jobs across the railway as it deals with a weakening North American economy that has eroded demand.

About 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are on strike after the union and company failed to reach a deal by the midnight deadline. Photo taken in Edmonton on Nov. 18, 2019.
About 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are on strike after the union and company failed to reach a deal by the midnight deadline. Photo taken in Edmonton on Nov. 18, 2019. COURTESY: Deb Burns