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CN Rail recalls employees laid off amid Wet’suwet’en solidarity blockades

Trudeau: We must remain committed to reconciliation with the Wet’suwet’en
WATCH: Trudeau says government must remain committed to reconciliation with the Wet'suwet'en

Canadian National Railway Co. has started to call back most of the 450 workers temporarily laid off last month, when blockades brought the company’s eastern network to a near standstill.

The blockades sidelined more than 1,400 freight and passenger trains and, according to analyst estimates, cost the company scores of millions of dollars.

READ MORE: Kahnawake railway blockade continues despite tentative deal in B.C.

Blockades in Kahnawake continue despite agreement
Blockades in Kahnawake continue despite agreement

CN chief executive JJ Ruest says the recovery process will take several weeks as shipments of bulk and consumer products ramp up.

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CN shut down its eastern network on Feb. 13, one week into a blockade by Tyendinaga Mohawk protesters that cut a key rail link east of Belleville, Ont.

Provincial police cleared the blockade last week, which was launched in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs who oppose a natural gas pipeline slated to pass through their traditional territory in British Columbia.

Coastal GasLink crews back to work day after Wet’suwet’en deal
Coastal GasLink crews back to work day after Wet’suwet’en deal

Hereditary chiefs reached a draft agreement Sunday with senior federal and provincial government ministers centering on rights and title.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2020.