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2 rail unions vote to go on strike at CN if talks falter

Members of two Unifor unions have voted to go on strike at CN if a collective agreement can’t be reached between both parties.

The vote on whether to go to strike was 98% of Local 100 members and 97% of Council 4000 members, according to a Sunday news release. 

Both sides are anticipated to head back to the bargaining table next week. 

Wages and benefits are one of the issues of contention. Although wages and benefits improved in the latest proposed agreement, the compensation falls under today’s inflationary rates, the union said in a previous statement. 

“Today, Unifor members sent the employer a strong message and have provided the Union with a strong show of support to achieve a fair and equitable contract. I know that everyone in both bargaining units and bargaining committees are ready to build off this mandate and bargain a fair collective agreement,” Unifor National President Lana Payne said in a release.

In response to Sunday’s vote, CN (NYSE: CNI) directed FreightWaves to its bargaining updates webpage, which includes a Feb. 17 statement about the negotiations. CN said in that statement that it has been in ongoing negotiations with Unifor since last October. The union represents approximately 3,000 employees working in various departments such as mechanical, intermodal and facility management, as well as in clerical positions in Canada. 

CN said it tabled a comprehensive offer with Unifor on Feb. 14 that included increases in net pay and benefits. On Dec. 16, 2022, Unifor had filed for conciliation.

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