CN strike settled;locomotive engineers back to work as quickly as possible

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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MONTREAL - Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX:CNR) and the Teamsters union have reached a deal to end a strike by locomotive engineers which began Saturday.
Details of the agreement Wednesday were not immediately available.
Teamsters Canada president Daniel Shewchuk said the engineers will get back to work as quickly as possible.
The agreement came after Ottawa introduced legislation Monday to end the strike, that was to have been debated Wednesday evening.
Labour Minister Rona Ambrose credited the back-to-work bill - which would have referred all outstanding issues to arbitration - for the deal.
"Back-to-work legislation applied very real pressure on the parties," she said.
CN is the country's largest railway and the government cited worries about the weak economy to justify the strike-ending legislation.
"Continuing the strike for any further amount of time would have had grave consequences for our economy," Ambrose said in Ottawa.
Managers have been running the trains since the walkout began.
Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said the deal looks positive for both sides.
"You never like to see people out there unemployed in this kind of environment and you don't like to see the potential negative impacts this could have caused to the overall economic rebound," Yarbrough said from St. Louis.
Since the strike was so short, there shouldn't be any serious economic effects, he added.
The 1,700 engineers, members of the Teamsters Canadian Rail Conference, have been without a contract for almost a year.
On Tuesday, CN conditionally offered to withdraw a contentious work rule change in a "good faith effort" to end a strike by its locomotive engineers.
The railway said it was willing to roll back the monthly mileage cap to its previous level if the union withdraws its own unspecified work-rule demands.
Agreement would allow just the issue of wages and benefits to be sent to binding arbitration. The railway had previously insisted that all matters in dispute be sent to arbitration.
CN shares closed down 27 cents at $56.03 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Organizations: CN, Canadian National Railway Co., TSX Toronto Stock Exchange

Geographic location: Ottawa, MONTREAL, St. Louis

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