29 September 2010 18:03 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS)--Some 2,700 Canadian National (CN) rail conductors have agreed to enter mediation talks to avoid a strike in a dispute over the scheduling of working hours, a union spokesman said on Wednesday.
Bryan Boechler, spokesman for Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, said the union would meet a mediator and CN later on Wednesday.
The news came after the union said earlier that a strike or lockout at CN could be imminent.
However, Boechler rejected unconfirmed rumours that the union had already served a 72-hour strike notice.
“We have no intention to serve a strike notice at this time,” and CN had not served a notice to lock workers out, Boechler told ICIS.
At stake were union demands to make changes to a far-reaching 24/7 "on call requirement," he said.
“We want to give some regularity to our people, so that they are better rested, with less chance of fatigue going to work,” he added.
A CN spokesman told media the company had contingency plans to continue operations in case of a labour disruption.
Year-to-date to 18 September, Canadian chemical railcar shipments were 529,275, up 23.4% from 428,830 in the same period in 2009, according to the latest available data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
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