CN, CAW return to bargaining table; some shippers say service sliding

by Canadian Shipper

Canadian National Railway and the CAW union representing 5,000 of its striking workers have agreed to resume contract negotiations, directed by a federal mediator.

Labour negotiators held a short negotiating session Thursday, the first time since 5,000 CAW workers walked off the job last Friday, reported the Canadian Press.

The two sides have agreed to continue negotiations, but in the meantime some shippers have reported that service levels on the railway haven’t been maintained.

Bob Ballantyne, president of the Ottawa-based Canadian Industrial Transportation Association, which represents rail-users, told the Canadian Press that some shippers are finding the service is really deteriorating, and that the reality they are experiencing is different from what CN is reporting in their press releases.

While CN spokesman Mark Hallman said that CN trains continue to operate at near normal levels, Ballantyne reported that he has received complaints from shippers across the country, both carload and intermodal.
He added that his members have also reported long waits at CN’s intermodal terminals.

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