CN Rail union says plans strike for Tuesday as contract talks falter

FILE PHOTO - A Canadian National Railway train travels eastward on a track in Montreal, February 22, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

TORONTO (Reuters) - A union representing Canadian National Railway Co conductors said it plans to strike on Tuesday morning after the railroad announced new work rules in the midst of negotiations to replace a contract that expired last year.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference disclosed the plan on Saturday evening in an update to members that said the company had issued new work rules earlier in the day.

The rules include a 2-percent wage increase and removal of a clause that requires CN to consult with the union before making “material changes” such as terminal closures and mandatory relocations, according to the Teamsters.

CN, Canada’s largest railroad, said it would continue to negotiate with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents some 3,000 conductors and yard operations employees, in a bid to avert a strike.

The Montreal-based company it willing to use binding arbitration to resolve the dispute over the contract, which expired in 2016, CN Chief Operating Officer Mike Cory said in a statement.

“We remain optimistic that we can reach an agreement without a labor disruption,” he said in the statement.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Nick Zieminski