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Monday, November 30, 2009

Feds to introduce back-to-work legislation for striking CN workers

As expected, Minister of Labour Rona Ambrose will introduce a Bill entitled “An Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of railway operations” to end the current strike affecting CN Rail operations.

This moves comes after contract talks over the weekend between CN and the TCRC failed to produce an agreement that would have brought a quick end to the strike.

“My preference has always been for the two sides to resolve their own labour dispute but since this has proven impossible, our Government must act to protect the public interest. We cannot allow a major disruption of our transportation system. CN is a vital component of Canada's economic infrastructure and we will do what is necessary to protect Canadians’ jobs and the country’s prosperity,” said Minister Ambrose. “We will not impose a settlement on the employer and union, but we will introduce legislation to end the strike,” added Minister Ambrose.

The strike began early Saturday and has prompted concern about economic disruption across the country. Federal mediators have been working with the employer and union for many months and spent the weekend in last-ditch efforts to find a formula that would allow for the resumption of full rail service, but to no avail.

“This is more than a private dispute between CN Rail and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. It has serious repercussions for the national economy at a time when Canada’s recovery from the global recession is still fragile,” concluded Minister Ambrose.

Ambrose is calling on all parties in Parliament to support quick passage of this legislation.

Posted by Matthew Johnston on November 30, 2009 | Permalink


Whatever this "public interest" really is, the market, and by extension more individuals, would be better served if the government stayed out of the dispute and the if union membership was voluntary.

Posted by: TM | 2009-11-30 1:56:13 PM

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