Canadian National Railway Co’s tentative labor contract with about 3,000 train conductors, yardpersons, and traffic coordinators was rejected in a vote by union members, the railroad said.
CN, which negotiated the deal with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference - Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY) in October, said it would meet with union leaders next week to review the results and discuss how to proceed.
Details of the tentative three-year deal were not available, but negotiations last year had stalled at one point over issues such as longer work hours and less rest time between trips, the Teamsters union had previously said.
Union representatives were not immediately available for comment.
“We are optimistic that the two sides will find common ground through these negotiations and that rail operations will continue without interruption,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Walter Spracklin said in a client note.
The labor issues at Canada’s biggest railroad come at a time when rail safety is under intense debate, following a series of high-profile derailments across the continent involving oil.
The Teamsters’ previous contract expired on July 22.
Canada’s government has been quick to intervene in recent years, sending unionized staff at railways and airlines back to work several times, to avoid major disruptions. (Reuters)