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Unifor and CN reach tentative agreement

Unifor and CN reach tentative agreement

Details won’t be released until after Unifor members ratify the deal

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Unifor and Canadian National Railway (CN) have avoided a strike.

The two sides reached a tentative agreement, the two sides announced on March 20.

“We are very pleased to have reached these tentative agreements,” Tracy Robinson, president and CEO of CN, said in a statement. “CN has always been committed to achieving negotiated settlements to improve the conditions of this important group of employees as we continue our essential work moving the North American economy. We look forward to future collaboration with Unifor.”

Had a strike occurred, more than 3,000 workers would’ve walked off the job.

The two sides began negotiations in October 2022, two months before Unifor’s contracts with CN expired.

Wages, benefits and changes to early retirement were among the points the two sides negotiated over.

Talks continued until March when Unifor Local 100 and Council 4000 members voted 98 and 97 per cent in favour of a strike.

March 21 would’ve been the earliest date a strike could take place, following a 72-hour notice.

Details of the new contract aren’t publicly available, but Unifor is pleased with the outcome of the negotiations.

“These negotiations were fraught with challenges, including demands for concessions by CN,” Unifor National President Lana Payne said in a statement. “With the solid support of the membership, the bargaining committees were able to stand up to this large profitable company and persevere to secure the tentative agreements.”

Both Unifor and CN won’t make the contract details public until ratification votes take place.

Those are scheduled for “the near future,” Unifor says.

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