Teamsters say CN transferring workers across country twice in one year

Railway control centre — two others sit in Toronto and Edmonton — handles the majority of rail traffic

Canadian National Railway Co. is transferring some rail traffic control positions to Edmonton from Montreal, prompting a backlash from the Teamsters union as talks to ratify a post-strike collective agreement continue.

CN said Friday that fewer than 15 workers are affected by the change, though Teamsters Canada complained that the relocations were happening less than a year after the workers had been transferred to Montreal from Toronto.

“For reasons of efficiency and management, it was decided that operations for northern Ontario would be controlled from Edmonton starting in the spring of 2020,” CN said in an email.

“Note that this office (northern Ontario) was in Montreal only recently as CN constantly assesses its needs and makes decisions on an ongoing operational basis.”

The union says that supervisors were telling workers that the company aimed to relocate the bulk of its Montreal rail traffic control centre to Alberta’s capital, which would affect more than 100 positions.

“CN is moving families across the country like goods on a train,” said Teamsters Canada president Francois Laporte in a release.

“Some of these families had just found schools and daycare for their children in Montreal. You can’t play with people’s lives like that.”

Union representative Lyndon Isaak said CN could lose experienced staff and increase risk for rail workers, since leaving their communities may not be an option for some of the affected workers.

CN said workers who choose not to relocate will be entitled to the benefits laid out in their collective agreement.

The railway control centre — two others sit in Toronto and Edmonton — handles the majority of rail traffic in Eastern Canada for the Montreal-based CN, according to the Teamsters.

The move comes as talks to ratify a tentative deal with the company continue following an eight-day strike by 3,200 workers that brought the railway to a near halt.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

UFV food expert presents new book, Lost Feast

Dr. Lenore Newman reads from latest publication on Tuesday, Jan. 21

Suspected car thief bean-bagged by Abbotsford police for resisting arrest

‘It doesn’t break the skin usually, but it hurts so much you might as well be shot’

CHARTS: Home-building down in 2019 in Abbotsford, but still historically high

2019 saw construction wrap up on 1,000 homes, the second-highest total on record

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Fraser Valley motorist drives up vehicle ramp and onto parked trailer on Chilliwack road

The incident happened after Chilliwack was handed another dump of snow Friday night

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read