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CN Rail, union resume negotiations to avert strike 0

QMI Agency

CN Rail file photo. (Reuters)

CN Rail file photo. (Reuters)

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CN Rail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference haven't given up trying to reach a new agreement.

Last Thursday, TCRC, which represents 3,000 conductors, yard workers, and traffic coordinators, narrowly rejected a second tentative contract deal with CN.

On Saturday, the two sides returned to the bargaining table.

"I am pleased that CN and the TCRC have decided to resume negotiations, as the best solution is always the one that parties reach themselves," labour minister Kellie Leitch said in a statement Saturday night. "We will continue to provide the parties with the support and assistance of mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help them resolve their labour dispute."

CN Rail has said it would like to settle unresolved issues through final binding arbitration, a process in which an arbitrator decides the final terms of the contract, and requested a union response by the end of Friday's business day.

"CN hopes the union will accept its offer, given that the company's recovery from an extraordinarily tough winter is in its early stages," said CN spokesman Mark Hallman, calling the offer "reasonable".

But the union said that government interference has made it difficult to resolve the conflict.

-- with files from Reuters

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