CN Rail and Unifor reach agreement

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

OTTAWA, Ontario—Unifor says it has reached a tentative contract settlement with Canadian National Railway to avoid a lockout of 4,800 workers.

The union said late Monday that ratification meetings will be scheduled in locations across the country over the next three weeks.

It said details of the agreement will only be disclosed following ratification.

Talks between the two sides had resumed Monday morning with the help of federal mediation advisers and continued past a late-night lockout deadline of 11 p.m.

The Montreal-based railway had said it planned to lock out workers represented by Unifor unless the union agreed to binding arbitration to settle contract differences. However, Unifor president Jerry Dias had firmly rejected binding arbitration.

The 4,800 workers covered by the tentative deal include mechanical, intermodal and clerical workers at the railway.

The union had announced plans to begin a strike vote next week after the failure of five months of negotiations.

Last week, the threat of federal legislation prompted CP Rail and the Teamsters to end a one day strike by 3,300 locomotive engineers and other train workers.