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Potential strike looms with CN Rail signals, communications employees

CN Rail locomotives are moved on tracks past cargo containers sitting on idle train cars at port in Vancouver, on Friday, February 21, 2020. Darryl Dyck, THE CANADIAN PRESS

There could be another rail strike if negotiations with Canadian National Railway’s unionized signals and communications employees don’t result in a settlement by Saturday.

A rail strike by CP Rail was averted in March 2022 after two days of negotiations, yet more than 3,000 workers took to the picket line which halted rail movement for more than 72 hours.

CN Rail confirmed on Wednesday that it has received a 72-hour strike notice from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The union represents roughly 750 of the CN’s employees in Canada.

CN said it has negotiated with the union “in good faith and will continue to do so.”

Read more: CN Rail profits dip amid supply chain snarls, lower grain exports

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In a news release, the company said it has offered to resolve the remaining differences, which are predominantly on wages and benefits, through binding arbitration.

Should negotiations not pan out, a strike could begin as of 11 a.m. ET on Saturday. The rail company said it is prepared to implement its operational contingency plan to ensure a normal level of continued safe operations as long as required.

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